Saturday, December 31, 2011

Looking Forward – Eyes Ahead

“For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  -Jeremiah 29:11

Well there you have it. 365 days have passed in 2011 and most people around the globe are watching the final hours, minutes and seconds tick away on another year in their life. A moment of reflection on the events of the year will lead some to regrets, depression and even self pity. We can all agree that 2011 was a tumultuous year, filled with global unrest, unreal natural disasters and an economic roller coaster that have left many devastated and feeling lost when looking forward.  Many are even asking “So, where is God in all of this?”  Is that you?  Are you caught up in the hopelessness of the world? 

Think back to December 31st, 2010 and the plans you outlined for 2011.  Man has continually attempted to control the twists and turns of life, only to finally come to the realization that we really aren’t equipped or prepared for total control.  Not a single person knew that a massive earthquake would hit 6 miles off the coast of Japan and cause a major tsunami, resulting in the deaths of thousands and the breakdown of the Fukishima nuclear plant.  No one could have predicted the massive floods and tornados in the US, Indonesia or Thailand and the devastation and destruction that resulted from the rising waters.  Could we have seen the global financial collapse coming as we have become more dependent on banks and the global dollar?

We all tend to look back at the past and highlight the struggles, hurts and problems of life, but have you noticed how infrequently we look back on the success’, blessings and achievements.  I was speaking with a young man just the other night and he made a comment that makes a lot of sense.  Every night he reflects on the day and makes a mental note of the goodness of the day.  I paraphrase his comment to a single question, “How did I make a difference today?”  This forces us to find the positives, success and how we have helped others rather than dwelling on what didn’t go right.  It also gives us the opportunity to see God’s fingerprints of love on our lives and the lives of those around us. 

You see, God wasn’t missing in action in 2011.  He was on His throne, right where He always has been and always will be.  God is sovereign, God is omnipresent, God is omniscient and God is omnipotent.  Nothing happens without His knowledge, nothing caught Him by surprise this year.  Many believe that God is a chess-master moving people around the game-board of life, but nothing could be farther from the truth.  We are all making choices with the knowledge and wisdom we have gained through our life experiences and education.  God’s influence on these decisions comes into play through the strength of relationship we have with Him and the amount we are willing to allow this influence to sway our thinking.  All too often, we know the plans God has for us, but are unwilling to execute or live within the guidelines of His plans.

God wants nothing more than to love us and us to love Him back.  We want material possessions, wealth, health and power to influence others.  He wants us to serve others, live within our means and give to others in need and take our eyes off of ourselves.  You recall Jesus answer to the Saducee in
Matthew 22:35-40, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’   Every year we lay out 5 to 10 resolutions for the New Year, and they are generally focused on improving our personal life situation.  What if we took those resolutions this year and laid out a plan on how we are going to influence and improve other’s lives?  What a difference that would make in the world, if we authentically took our eyes off of ourselves and focused on others for a solid year.  Consider thinking of others first this year and lay out a plan on how you can help them, love them and serve them throughout 2012.  This will be an amazing year if we are within God’s plan for us.

Loving Father,
Renew my spirit Lord.  Fill me with the Holy Spirit that I might see others as You see them.  Help me to be a greater positive influence in the lives of those around me, living with a servants heart and a loving passion to help others.  In Your omnipotence You know all things and in Your sovereignty we all live within Your guidance.  Press upon mankind this year a spirit of revival to recognize Your glory and give You honor in everything we do.  Thank You in advance for an incredible year of 2012.  In Your name we pray - Amen
© Sondove Enterprises, 2011
For additional Daily Thoughts, visit:

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Is God Still With You?

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” -John 1:14

Four days have passed since Christmas morning. I’m sure that sometime during the last 5 or 6 days you have read through or heard the story of Jesus birth in Bethlehem as captured so beautifully in Luke 2. As the time passes and we become more engaged in our day to day life again, the stresses begin to accumulate, the worries start up again and for some the message of Christmas begins to blur again for another 11 months. We need to make a stand against the temptation to slide back into our pre-Christmas routine. As foretold in Isaiah 7:14 “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” Things are not the same.

His life was foretold by over 20 different people as far as 800 years before His birth. Everything from who His parents would be, where He would be born, what His life would stand for, His persecution, His death and His resurrection. Most historical figures and leaders lived a great life and then their story was captured and documented for the interest of educating the minds of the future. But He was not like other historical figures. Unlike any other person in the history of the world, Jesus Christ, was biography was written before He ever breathed His first breath.

God was with Adam in the Garden, with Moses on Mount Sinai and David in his battles. He was with many other individuals throughout the scriptures. He carried these hero’s and saints through their struggles, trials, hardships and their weakness’. God not only gave them insight through His authority and power on earth, He gave them the wisdom and confidence to know that He was always there for them, no matter what. Abraham prepares to sacrifice Isaac because he knew God would provide a lamb. David battled Goliath because he knew God would overcome. Job gave up everything he had and relied solely on God’s love and promise as disease and experiences near death came upon him. These are just a few examples of what happens when God is with someone.

Jesus means Immanuel, God With Us. This single statement was prophesied by Isaiah, and restated by the angel to Joseph in a dream. When God was with the saints of old, we saw how He protected, nurtured and cared for them. Through the birth of Jesus Christ, that exact power and blessing is available to all of us. He came to us because He knew we could not come to Him in our fleshy, sinful state. God’s desire is for us to be with Him for eternity, so He took it upon Himself to come to us, and walk side by side with us through this life to allow that reunion one day. He will carry us when we are weak, provide knowledge and insight into righteousness, convict us when we fall and set us back on a path of purpose for His kingdom. God is with us – that means you, me and everyone since Christ’ birth. It is upon us to seek His guidance and love. Some believe that this promise was only for those who walked with Jesus for those 33 years. This could not be farther from the truth. He promised us a comforter, counselor and teacher in the Holy Spirit to be with us always, until the day of His return. His death was not the end, but rather the beginning of the fulfillment of God’s promise. Immanuel, God is with us, lives on through His resurrection and continues to provide strength, love, security, comfort, help and wisdom if we only reach to Him.

Almighty God,
You came to us through a child, born in the humblest of settings to fulfill a promise for all of mankind. You promised to walk with us, guide us and be our strength, if we would only turn to trust You. We come before You Lord, seeking Your will in our lives, Your wisdom and Your love. Just as You carried the saints of old through their struggles and temptations, guide our steps in a path of righteousness as well. Help us to recognize Your control and will in our life. In Your name we pray - Amen

© Sondove Enterprises,               2010
For additional Daily Thoughts, visit:

Do We Need Christmas?

“I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.”  - John 11:25-26

Abraham Lincoln was assassinated on April 15, 1865 by John Wilkes Booth in a tragic manner that would forever be memorialized in the hearts of Americans. Considered to be one of America’s greatest Presidents, he did considerable things to get this country through the Civil War, and reunite the country afterwards. His Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves across the Confederate states and eventually across the entire United States of America. Upon his death, there were definite dividing lines between those who defended his works and those who opposed it. His grave was the site of no less than 5 examinations over the course of twenty five years following his death. Each in an attempt to prove that he was indeed dead and that his body had not been “taken up” as had been the rumors of the day. It was in September 1901 that his body was exhumed for the last time and sure enough, he was still there as was witnessed by 23 individuals at the sight on that day.

Jesus Christ was born to break the bondage and slavery of all mankind, from the evil and unrighteousness of Satan in the world. In contrast to Mr. Lincoln though, three days after His death and burial, Jesus Christ was not in the grave. This was witnessed by no less than 6, but likely many more on that glorious resurrection morning. The two guards, Mary and the other Mary, Peter and John are captured in scripture as witnessing the empty tomb with the stone rolled away. Even more wonderful though is the large number of witnesses to Jesus Christ walking amongst the people and talking with them after his death and resurrection.

Jesus Christ was born for the resurrection. He claimed so Himself numerous times throughout the New Testament. He was born that man no more shall die, not referring to a physical death, but a spiritual & eternal death. God is perfect, and demands perfection to enter into His kingdom of heaven. You and I are incapable, despite our best efforts of achieving the perfection that is required to meet God’s standards. The gates of Hell are wide and inviting to all of mankind as the easy path through life. Sin is tempting and impossible to avoid in our human state, but Jesus Christ because of His divine soul and incarnate birth was capable of resisting Satan right through the point of death on the cross. His death and three days in the depths of the earth seemed an apparent victory for Satan. It was on that third day though, through His resurrection that Jesus Christ broke the chains of slavery for all time and provided a perfect sacrifice for all of mankind’s sin and allow us to enter into God’s perfect heaven through His sinless perfect life.

He lived 33 years of sinless perfection in God’s eyes. He resisted the temptations of this life, the trials and pitfalls that face all of us. He overcame pride, envy and jealousy through humility and a servant’s heart. He loved unconditionally, and opened the door of heaven to all mankind, not just a chosen few. If His resurrection is false, then all of Christianity is false as well. The foundation of Jesus Christ birth, death and purpose on this earth was for the resurrection to take place and create the path of salvation for us to be redeemed back into the grace of our Father in heaven. There is no other way for you nor I to cleanse our sinful life enough to enter into God’s eternity. Good works will not cleanse your soul, prayer will not cleanse your soul and money certainly cannot cleanse your soul. Belief in the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, alone will wash away the sins of this life and allow you and me to stand before the Lord perfect. We need Christmas, because we needed a Savior and a path of salvation to draw us back into the arms of God the Father.

Almighty God,Your Son Jesus Christ came into this world for the purpose of providing a path of salvation. Your Word tells us that through His death and resurrection You have opened the door to heaven for those of us that believe on Him. Forgive me for my sinful flesh and my worldly desires. Wash my heart and mind anew as we continue to celebrate Your Son’s birth. Help me to rekindle my spirit with Your word and Your promise of eternity with You. Strengthen me this day to walk in Your grace and share Your light with all that I meet. In Your name we pray – Amen

© Sondove Enterprises, 2010
For additional Daily Thoughts, visit:

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Blues

 “When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.””  - Matthew 2:13

Well, it has come and gone. All of those weeks preparing for Christmas, and it seems to be gone in a flash. The excitement of family joining together, the presents under the tree, the Christmas carols, the shopping, the Christmas dinner all have become a part of our memories now. Was it everything you expected it to be? All of that excitement reached a crescendo and now life begins to resort back to normalcy once again. Perhaps the family has left to return home, the tree is now at the curb-side and there is that dreaded feeling of emptiness as you evaluate what has transpired. Did you get everything you wanted? Did the reunion with family members and friends meet your expectations or leave you wanting more?

The post Christmas blues meet many of us head on after the build up to an emotional high on Christmas morning. We all have expectations going into Christmas. Following that wonderful event we are then left to compare the reality with our expectations, and many times if falls short. The joy, laughter and happiness that fill your heart leading up to Christmas may seem distant now. I propose that it is simply because you are focusing on the event and not the act of Christmas. You see the gifts, the fellowship, the reunions and the parties are nothing more than an event celebrating the act of His birth. Many have argued that his birth did not even happen in December, and I’m okay with that. You see, it’s not about the exact day He was born, it’s about celebrating His birth, which leads us to celebrating His life, His death and His resurrection.

We know that Mary & Joseph went through a period of Christmas Blues so to speak. After the birth of Jesus you would expect that they would have time to just rest in peace and raise God’s Son. A chance to celebrate His birth and God’s choice to bring Him to the world as a part of their family. Mary had spent 9 months preparing for the event of Messiah’s birth in Bethlehem. The event comes and goes quickly, and the little family heads back to Nazareth to renew their life. While in Nazareth an angel appears to Joseph once again and tells him to take the child to Egypt. Without hesitation, Joseph packs up his family, leaves his work, his home and goes. When God speaks to you and tells you to move, you move. God was in ultimate control of every part of the Christmas event, and didn’t stop once the baby was born. It wasn’t as if God brought Christ into the world and then told Mary & Joseph, “Alright, now it’s up to you. Good luck.” No. He was involved every step of the way.

Just like in your life and mine. God didn’t bring you to a point of salvation and then walk away. At your baptism He didn’t wash you clean and then say, “Okay, now stay that way. My work is done.” God never promised you and I an easy path in life, as a matter of fact He promised just the opposite in John 16:33, “in the world you will have trouble.” The key is to continue relying on God to see you through and around these troubles. The Lord is still in control, even when you feel lost, empty and alone. It is more important to listen to His word and be in accord with His direction on your life when you have reached the summit and are on the way down the other side. The Christmas Blues can bring along with it serious depression for those left wanting more, and feeling lost in a world of materialism, self centeredness and jealous envy of others. What is important is to look upward and focus your attention on the One for which Christmas is all about. Throughout the year we can celebrate the Messiah in our lives, through our actions and in our quiet times. Draw near to Him each day and re-discover the wonder of Christmas over and over.

Heavenly Father,
Thank You for the wonder of Your Son’s birth. Thank You for helping us through this stress-filled, exciting time of Christmas, while keeping our eyes focused on You and not on ourselves. Help us to let go of the emptiness that can ensue following this blessed event, and draw closer to You. As You demonstrated through Joseph’s dreams You are in control at all times. You alone can lead us through this depression and back into our Savior’s arms. Guide us Lord to daily walk with You and never feel alone in this world. In Your name we pray - Amen

© Sondove Enterprises ,2010
For additional Daily Thoughts, visit:

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Prophetic Timeline

“Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven 'sevens,' and sixty-two 'sevens.' It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble." - Daniel 9:25

Merry Christmas to all of you. I hope that your day was filled with the blessings from above, family love and friendly fellowship. Mine certainly was as we gathered around the tree with laughter, joy, happiness and awe for the Savior's birth.

Here again in Daniel we find a prophecy that is not necessarily about Christ's birth, but more about His death and His second coming. Consider that "sevens" is a description used to represent a year of weeks. So, when Daniel states seven sevens he is actually stating 49 years. A year in that period was 360 days, therefore seven sevens plus sixty two sevens equals sixty nine sevens is 69 * 7 years = 483 years. Multiplying this times 360 days we discover the answer to be 173,880 days.

So how good of a mathematician is God in His perfection?

There is much research into which of the "decrees to restore and rebuild Jerusalem" this prophecy references as the starting point. But careful observation will point one to Nehemiah, who championed the rebuilding and restoration of Jerusalem in the second chapter of Nehemiah. This rebuilding was done in 445 BC, as stated by many scholars. The first seven 'sevens' takes us 49 years forward to 396 BC. Following this there are sixty two sevens, which equals 434 years. Following on from 396 BC this takes us to 30 AD.
Palm Sunday, when Christ comes into Jerusalem on a donkey as the anointed one, is when Jesus references this prophecy directly with His disciples. This, by God's planning, is 173,880 days after Nehemiah first declared his desire to rebuild Jerusalem. From that point forward Jerusalem was destroyed (40 years later) and has never been rebuilt or restored to this very date. A Muslim mosque sits upon the site of God's holy temple today as we await the arrival of our Savior, Redeemer and King. Through God's promises to the Hebrew nation in the days of Daniel, He has stated His plan for the Messiah. If He lied in these promises, then He lied in all of His promises. For God is either 100% just, truthful and righteous or 100% unjust and evil, there is no middle ground. I believe the former and trust that God will soon begin the execution phase of the seventieth seven as detailed in Jeremiah 25th and 29th chapters, which will usher in the end of time and final judgment of all people.
So which side are you on? Is God's word in the Old Testament promises something truthful that can be trusted, passed down and carried from generation to generation, or is it simply an interweaving of the scripture from multiple books intent on misleading and destroying Israel, His prized people?  It can’t be both.

© Sondove Enterprises, 2011
For additional  Daily Thoughts, visit:

Saturday, December 24, 2011

He had only One Purpose

"After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities." - Isaiah 53:11

As most of you know I love Christian music, especially this time of year. One of my favorite Christmas songs though is; "Mary did you know" ; by Mark Lowry. It has been sung by many artists in many different settings and I was fortunate enough to see Michael English sing it at a Christmas concert a few years ago. For those of you unfamiliar, here are few of the lyrics:
Mary did you know
that your baby boy would save our sons and daughter
Did you know
that you baby boy has come to make you new.
This child that you delivered
will soon deliver you.

What was going through Mary's mind as the day drew near of her child's birth. As any woman 9 months along in her pregnancy, she could not have been comfortable. I'm sure her back ached, the weight of a healthy strong baby bearing down on her small body during that 2-3 day journey to Bethlehem, riding atop a donkey. Her mother wasn't there to hold her hand and help her through it. No, Mary was not having a "good" time carrying the Savior of the world.

As any mother would be, she deeply loved the child before he was born. She probably had sung hymns and read psalms to him over the past 9 months. But, she did have the knowledge of who she was carrying. So, were there moments of extreme sorrow and pain that she went through when she thought of these prophecies from Isaiah which describe his life and death? She couldn't have known to what extent he would have to go to save the world, but she knew in her heart that her son would die one day for the iniquities of all man-kind.

Christmas is but one day away. I truly hope that over these last few weeks you have pondered these Messianic Prophecies leading up to the birth of Jesus Christ with the same wonder and awe that I do. 400 years, 500 years even 1000 years before his birth, the prophets were detailing his life as only God Almighty could through their pen. This child came for one purpose only and that was to die for our sins that we might have eternal life one day. As you celebrate Christmas with your family and loved ones over the next few days, don't focus only on His birth, but on His purpose. Be blessed my friends.

Friday, December 23, 2011

I Just Don’t Understand

"He said, "Go and tell this people:" 'Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving.' Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed." - Isaiah 6:9-10

Word pictures confuse me most of the time. Lisa used to use word pictures frequently to get her point across in discussions. She was really good at it, drawing on topics she knew I would have an interest in like baseball, football or anything technical. How she could take an everyday discussion on parenting our children or dealing with our finances or improving our communication and turn it into a parable that got her point across in a way that I could relate too, was beyond me. The problem is that word pictures are only effective the first time their used. Each subsequent time that a similar word picture or parable is used it tends to fall short of making the point for one reason or another.

The prophecy from Isaiah 6:9-10 reflects on God's directions after Isaiah stepped forward to serve God. God's direct command, "GO..." calls Isaiah out to a service for the most Holy. He is to prepare the people of Israel for the Messiah who will come preaching and teaching in manners that are not understood by man. He was to make it possible for the people to draw closer to the Messiah for answers to life’s questions. In turn this would allow them to be healed by Him.

Christ, throughout His ministry, uses parables and stories to make His point. How many times have you read the story of the fig tree in Luke 13 and scratched your head as to the meaning? Or the parable in Luke 18 about the rich man regarding the camel going through the eye of a needle? Christ's parables are a way for His pupils and His followers to continue striving to learn more of the Kingdom of God.   For us today, these parables contain the same strength. They draw us to Christ, so that we may learn about His ministry and His message for the masses. In turn we are capable of then sharing that information with the people we come into contact with.

© Sondove Enterprises, 2011
For additional Daily Thoughts, visit:

Thursday, December 22, 2011

We Need Him Now more than Ever

"He [the Lord] says: "It is too small a thing for you to be my servant, to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth." - Isaiah 49:6

Do we need the Messiah today? Look around and ask yourself if you have it all under control. As we near the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, we should be reflecting on how this significant event; that literally split the calendar and brought hope to the nation of Israel; is alive in each of us. So what hope does he provide to the 21st century? We face issues of economic struggles, global warming, debates over absolute truth and morality and a waning interest in the biblical truths. A study was done in the late 1960's which showed that 65% of Americans were Bible believing Christians. Looking at the next generation (baby-boomers) showed that only 35% of Americans profess themselves as Bible believing Christians, and the following generation (busters) only 16%. Looking at the next generation then the predictions are that less than 4% will be Bible believing Christians. Many would say that they believe in Jesus Christ, but that most religions are equally relevant in finding eternal salvation.

The Messiah came to provide salvation for all man-kind. The tribes of Israel as well as the Gentiles. The prophecies we have observed over the last 3 weeks have all pointed to one individual, God's Messiah as the means to salvation. This foundational truth straight from the scriptures was critical for the people in Israel at the time of Isaiah's writing no more so than it is critical for us today.

All throughout the New Testament we find examples of Jesus Christ preaching God's message to the masses. He was not segregating the Jewish brethren from the Gentiles. His miracles were upon the lepers, the Romans, the Samaritans as well as the Jewish. He forgave the sins of people from every walk of life, and even broke bread with sinners and tax collectors. As prophesied in Isaiah 49 - the Messiah will be a light to the Gentiles and bring salvation to the ends of the earth. Paul the apostle references this once again in Acts 13:47 in his dialogue with the Jewish leaders and converts.

This is our mission as well my brothers and sisters in Christ. We have a generation all around us in need of hearing the truths from the bible. Take this Christmas season to share God's plan of salvation with those around you, and with those in your network. Be blessed as you spread His news.

© Sondove Enterprises, 2011
For additional Daily Thoughts, visit:

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Lord, Our Righteousness

“The days are coming," declares the LORD, "when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The LORD Our Righteousness. " - Jeremiah 23:5-6

I have noticed that we tend to put individuals on pedestals. We flock around them to hear their words of wisdom and learn from their actions. We watch and trust that they have our best interests in mind when they make decisions. We allow ourselves to become wrapped up in their lives and influenced by their choices; good or bad. This is very much like the Israelites in the days of Jeremiah. They were trusting in their leadership rather than on God. This had taken them from great power under King David to nearly ruins through the unjust and unrighteous behavior of the Kings and rulers of the time.

In this prophecy we see God taking the leadership of Israel into His own hands. Through the voice of Jeremiah he strengthens His promise of a Messiah coming from the seed of David. The Messiah will come in the future as a righteous branch from David's line. A branch starts as a humble bud from the original and grows over time to become strong, sturdy and resilient. It is also over time that fruit will begin to blossom and seeds will be spread widely.

Recognize the scope of God's declaration is for all people, not just the Israelites. His appointed King will be just and righteous to all mankind. Declaring safety to Israel provided reassurance to His people that He was their protector, comforter and provider. The final statement of this prophecy though, secures their understanding that the Messiah would be God incarnate. For only God himself could provide justice and righteousness. So, for God to state that His Messiah would be the Lord Our Righteousness; He is stating to the people, of that time, that the Messiah would indeed be God himself.

This was also confirmed in Isaiah 7:14; "the virgin will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel (God with us)." As you celebrate Christmas, do not let this origin slip from your mind. The Messiah was brought forth from God directly to bring righteousness to all man-kind.

© Sondove Enterprises, 2011
For additional Daily Thoughts, visit:

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

King of Kings

“In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever." - Daniel 2:44

Of course you have heard of Deja 'Vu. The belief that you have seen an unfolding event before, as if you had already lived through it. It's weird and somewhat scary at times, depending on the circumstances. It could be casual things like walking into the living room, sitting down and picking up a child to read a story. When it is happening your mind immediately recognizes that you have already experienced this, even though the current physical act is a first time occurrence. Maybe it's just me, but I believe it has happened to everyone at one time or another. (love to hear your stories some time....).

Well, this prophecy by Daniel is actually part of an interpretation of a visionary dream of King Nebuchadnezzar’s that established God as Lord of all in the King's eyes. The interpretation portraits four monarchies (Kings) that will emerge: Assyrians, Persians, Macedonians and Romans. The Romans destroying the other three over time. While these kings are still in power God will send His Messiah and establish the kingdom that will rule forever.

In Luke 1:33 we see the angel describing the Christ child to Mary as: "he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end." This to describe the child she would carry and bring into the world. At that very point God makes His declaration of who the person of Jesus Christ is, and in doing so fulfill's the prophetic words of Daniel to Nebuchadnezzar. All Kings and rulers will one day bow down to Christ in His Kingdom

© Sondove Enterprises, 2011
For additional Daily Thoughts, visit:

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Man on the Donkey

"Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey." - Zechariah 9:9

This is a direct prophecy of Christ's triumphant Palm Sunday entrance into Jerusalem. Israel had been without a king for nearly 500 years from the point that Zechariah wrote this prophecy. Within the prophecy to the church of Zion and Jerusalem God clearly communicates that a new King is coming and will be riding into Jerusalem on a donkey.

A few things to note:
1) God will once again provide a King for Israel after years of silence.
2) This King will be anointed by God and placed into power with salvation and righteousness
3) The king the people were desiring was of this world, and Christ is of future

Is it any wonder that the people lined the streets during that triumphant entry to lay palm branches before Him in an act of worshipping their new King. The rulers of the day certainly saw this act of homage to Christ and took insult from it, thereby fueling their anger and hatred towards him. So, thinking this through - the rulers (studied in the scriptures and prophecy) refuse to accept Him; yet the masses (traditionally less studied) follow the prophecy, recognize their new King and rejoice. Was God stimulating the excitement amongst the masses, and likewise stimulating the bitterness amongst the rulers?

Have you ever considered why Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey?
1) Peace - This would represent to the Jewish culture that a King or High Priest was entering the city in peace rather than riding a stallion indicating war
2) Humility - the donkey was the simplest of animals
3) Blatantly making a statement to fulfill the prophecy - the students of prophecy in that day would quickly recognize the Messiah entering Jerusalem riding a donkey

Five hundred years pass between the prophecy and the fulfillment. The fulfillment once again was exact in nature and out of the control of the masses. God's planning was impeccable and on His schedule, not man's. Let us not forget that there will come a day when Jesus will return upon a white horse and rid the world of evil. We need to consider this as we think about the future plans from the Creator.

© Sondove Enterprises, 2011
For additional Daily Thoughts, visit:

Friday, December 16, 2011

I Want to Help them All

"Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, against the man who is close to me!" declares the LORD Almighty. "Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered, and I will turn my hand against the little ones." - Zechariah 13:7

Do you find that most of the time human intention is much stronger than human action? I do. The homeless need shelter and my heart bleeds for them. I want nothing more than to give them a place to stay where it is warm, with a pillow and perhaps a nice warm shower. The hungry need food. I want to take them all to the local grill and get them the biggest burger in the joint, followed up with a gift certificate for a year of free lunch. There are an unbelievable number of children in need of foster care or adoption. Just to be able to give them a home of love, a hug and a chance to grow up seems so simple. Intentions can only go so far before the human brain has to create the plan of implementation and put into place the work required to complete the mission. That's where most of us hit a wall.

Zechariah wrote this prophecy in the time around 500 BC. Here's the cool thing - God's words are endless and to demonstrate that He has a plan over an extended period of time He describes the exact event that will unfold. The partial fulfillment of this prophecy was in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night that Jesus was betrayed. The disciples that had walked with Jesus for the duration of His ministry were reacting with complete emotion as the guards entered the garden that evening. Their intention was to stay with Christ and defend Him, but their brain caused fear to overrule their good intentions and they scattered. The other scattering that has taken place is the scattering of God's "sheep" - the Jewish population. To be gathered back together with the return of the Messiah in the final days. There is historical evidence of the completion of God's plan in fulfilling this prophecy.

If we can look back and see this event played out precisely over the course of thousands of years, what would make us think that He doesn't have a plan for our life and for the next thousand years? The fact is that we do have visibility to that plan and it comes from the same source. The prophets represented in the last few weeks have also prophesied about our future. Examples from Ezekial, Isaiah, Daniel and John all paint a picture of what is to come. Unlike you and I, God's intentions are perfect and will be put into action at the perfect time, without delay. Be prepared and ready.

© Sondove Enterprises, 2011
For additional Daily Thoughts, visit:

A Stranger at the Table

"I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother's children. " - Psalm 69:8

Here again we find the psalmist David, writing the words of a sufferer, but certainly referencing the coming Messiah as well. Yesterday, I pointed out the fact that Christ was hated by the masses and authority in His last days. Today, I wanted to take this one step farther. We find references to Christ being refused by his family, disciples and those closest to him.

How can this be? How could the disciples - Matthew, Peter, John and the others turn away from the man they had walked and lived with for those years? We see this prophecy fulfilled in John 7:5 and John 1:11. Then there is the often quoted scriptural reference to Peter denying Christ the night of His betrayal.

It really comes down to the motives and expectations of those around Christ at that time. Their history had told them that the King would come and re-establish Israel to it's proper place of strength. It was not that they didn't believe in Christ, but that they couldn't comprehend His purpose and His true place in God's plan. His brothers questioned His role by trying to place Him in the public's eyes where he would gain popularity and rise to King. His disciples continued to underestimate the authenticity and power of the man they were walking with. We see other times them trying to steer him clear of the masses, even the children. They all left His side in the Garden of Gethsemane. After His death on the cross, they converged to hiding in the upper room, unsure, confused and wondering what to do next. How could their King be killed. He was the chosen one of God.

Were these actions intentional or contrived to fulfill the prophecy? Of course not. These were predicted a thousand years before His birth and fulfilled through His life and those around Him, to once again demonstrate from God the Father just who Jesus Christ was. So tell me then, with all of these examples why does man still ask the question?

© Sondove Enterprises, 2011
For More Daily Thoughts:

Thursday, December 15, 2011

What Did I Do?

"Those who hate me without reason outnumber the hairs of my head; many are my enemies without cause, those who seek to destroy me. I am forced to restore what I did not steal." - Psalm 69:4

The psalmist David, wrote these words of himself. Yet, in reading them, we find the words of our Lord and Savior.  Echoed in John 15:25, "They hated me without cause." In the scriptures the life of Jesus Christ is detailed as loving, helpful and merciful. His ministry lasted no more than 3 years. What we know of Him is that He taught those around him of God's love and peace. The world was in need of a Savior, and had been waiting patiently for the arrival of the Messiah. So, needing him and wanting him, what were they afraid of when He arrived?

Have you ever considered why Christ was so hated by the people of Israel? He entered Jerusalem a week before His death. He rode a donkey into the city amidst cheers and praises of glory and hallelujah. Within a week the masses were screaming "Crucify Him! Crucify Him!" In that week, Christ had healed the sick, forgiven the sinful, restored life and challenged the authority of Jerusalem. It was this authority that knew the scriptures, the signs and what to expect; but also that felt threatened by Christ's message of salvation. As David writes in Psalm 69:4 – you could easily replace the words I am with  Christ is forced to restore what he did not steal.”  The salvation of mankind was upon his shoulders and his shoulders alone.

In the last 2000 years what has changed? There are more that hate Christ today than ever, and for what reason? For His love of mankind or His merciful grace. He's done nothing against mankind that would cause hatred. Perhaps, it is similar to the authorities of that day. Christ does not meet the image that some people are looking for in a Savior or they feel convicted by His message, so they choose to deny him or hate him. The love of Christ is there for them though, just as it was for the masses and authorities in Jerusalem on that day. Remember, the most powerful apostle of Jesus Christ was Saul of Tarsus (also known as Paul). He hated Christ and Christians to the point of killing them, yet Christ's love and grace, once revealed to him, turned him into the most profound apostle of all time.

We live this life with the opportunity to rest in His grace, peace and love each and every day.  There are those that despite this opportunity; chose not to.  But make no mistake; there will come a day when all mankind will recognize Jesus Christ as the Messiah and Savior.  In Philippians 2:10 Paul tells us, “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth.”  I fear for those who have; through pride, arrogance and self righteousness; denied Him.  Life will be reconciled once and for all.

© Sondove Enterprises, 2011
For More Daily Thoughts:

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Unimaginable Love

"But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed." - Isaiah 53:5

Have you seen the movie The Passion of the Christ? It represents the final 24 hours of Christ's life. From the Garden of Gethsemane to the tomb, concluding in the resurrection of my Savior. There are glimpses of His past filtered throughout the movie to reveal the miraculous grace and glory that He brought from the Father above. Most would agree though that the graphic depiction of the brutal scourging He received as punishment from Pontius Pilot was horrifying and grotesque. I've seen interviews with Mel Gibson and James Caviezel commenting that the reality of the beating was critical to the authenticity of the movie, and they wanted to get it perfect. Through enormous research they determined the weapons and tools that would have been used to inflict the punishment, and the movie is as real as it gets. If you have not seen the movie, my brief description will not do it justice, but imagine his back, sides, arms and legs sliced deep with gashes in the flesh. Bone was visibly showing in many places, the blood pooling at his feet as he hung from shackles from the whipping stone in the center of the courtyard.

With this image in mind, can you understand Isaiah's prophecy foretelling of the Messiah's beatings? The Father above placed these words upon the lips of Isaiah 700 years prior to the birth of Jesus Christ.

Pontius Pilot executed the punishment which required his beating. Do you think Pontius Pilate was attempting to fulfill a prophecy in his decision?

The prison guards had to execute the punishment. Do you think they had knowledge of the prophecy from 700 years prior, and ensured to beat him beyond recognition to fulfill these prophecies?

After the beating, the people of Jerusalem demanded his crucifixion. Do you believe that the masses in Jerusalem conspired in order to fulfill the prophecy?

And finally the centurion who thrust the spear into Christ's side as He hung on the cross. Is it possible that this Roman warrior was familiar enough with the ancient prophecies and did this in order to fulfill it?

The obvious answers are that these events happened by the hand of God's planning such that prophecies would be fulfilled by Jesus Christ alone. Accepting this, we now look to the results that are promised to us. So what does the prophecy say about why the Messiah would endure this scourging? "... for our transgressions...for our iniquities...brought us peace...we are healed." Jesus Christ came so that we would be forgiven, healed and accepted by the Father, who was willing to let His own Son be crushed, beaten and killed (2 Corinth 5:21). That is the most unbelievable love that could ever be shown, and it was given for you.   The beating and crucifixion that Jesus Christ endured was a payment for our sins.  The punishment we rightfully deserve for our sinful nature was brutally inflicted on the Son of Man, so by believing in Him we can receive eternal life.

Knowing that God loves you this much there is nothing you have done or can do to deserve it, but it is given regardless. This is what is known as grace, and it is available to all of us if we are only willing to accept it. The denial of His love and grace, means you are denying the very sacrifice He made and thereby denying the results provided by that sacrifice.  If you have not made this choice, take time this Christmas to fully grasp the depth of this event in history and realize that He did it so you can experience eternity with Him in heaven.

© Sondove Enterprises, 2011
For additional Daily Thoughts, visit:

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

What Did He Say?

"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor, and the day of vengeance of our God;... " - Isaiah 61:1-2(a)

This is an extremely powerful statement and prophecy to be fulfilled. I'm sure you have introduced yourself to someone in your life. Your introduction of yourself typically includes your name, perhaps where you work, what you do and references to relationships that might help the receiver to understand who you are. Perhaps something like this,

"Hi, my name is Rich Palmer. I work at Hewlett Packard in the server organization on technology strategies on the horizon. You know my dad - Jim Palmer, from Tecumseh; he speaks highly of you."

In this prophecy, Isaiah is speaking on behalf of the Messiah, foretelling of who he will be, and what he will do in a manner that the audience clearly understood what was to come. The careful use of words give us many points to think about. 1) "...the Lord has anointed me.." - Messiah means "Anointed One", so by making this statement Isaiah makes it clear that he is speaking on behalf of the Messiah in a prophetic manner. 2) "...preach good news to the poor." - priests were anointed to represent the service to the Lord, claiming to preach classifies the Messiah in the same category as the priests, the difference though is that the good news is not just for the upper echelon but for the poor as well. The implication is that the current priests were not reaching those that needed it the most. 3) "...bind up the brokenhearted...release from darkness..." - the Messiah will come to heal the sins of the people once and for all. 4) "and the day of vengeance of our God;" - God's revenge for sin of all time will come at the second coming of the Messiah, so we have to be aware that this prophecy is actually split across multiple events in time.

Now forward your calendar 700 years to
Luke 4:16-21. Imagine the impact of standing in front of an audience of highly influential leaders of law and religion and introducing yourself by reading this scripture from the ancient scrolls. This is exactly what Jesus Christ did the very first time he was asked to preach in the synagogue. At the conclusion of his reading of the word, he carefully rolls the scroll back into place and makes the most profound statement, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."

Can you imagine the shock on the faces and the shouts of anger from those in attendance? I'm sure there were cries of "blasphemy, stone him"; "wait, isn't this Joseph the carpenter's son". They were blinded by their own knowledge at that time. Blinded to the point that they couldn't accept the claim made in their very presence. Put yourself in their shoes, could you have accepted it? Would you accept it if a man stood in the front of your church or synagogue this weekend and claimed the same? We are told that His return will be swift like a thief in the night and that His sheep will know Him. An introduction will not be necessary when He comes again.

© Sondove Enterprises, 2011
For additional Daily Thoughts, visit:

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Blind Will See

"Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy... " - Isaiah 35:5-6a

Do you believe in miracles?

Everyday activities that are taken for granted or explained away as coincidence or luck are actually miracles given from our heavenly Father. It's amazing to me how many miracles take place every single day. The birth of a new child, sickness' are healed, the lost are saved and the hungry are fed. Bills that couldn't be paid are suddenly somehow manageable. The gas guage is below empty and there isn't a dollar or coin to be found in the car, yet there is enough gas to get home and back to the gas station the next day. Child slips and falls from the monkey bars landing on his back, yet there are no broken bones or internal damage. Christmas presents are unobtainable because of a lost job and someone leaves a bag of toys and a bicycle on the porch as a secret Santa. In your life think back and ask yourself where has God interjected His miraculous grace? Don't wave the little miracles off nonchalantly, look for them and thank God when they happen.

The proceeding verse (Isaiah 35:3-4) describes how God will come with a vengence and save His people. The prophecy in Isaiah 35:5-6 foretells that when God comes in the form of the Messiah, He will be bringing miracles along with salvation. Through-out the New Testament we find numerous miracles performed by the one Jesus Christ, in the name of the Father. There were certainly those that performed magic in those days as there are today. Some would look upon Jesus as nothing more than a magician until he began restoring life, healing the blind and the deaf, curing leopracy and healing the lame. Also note that in each situation He gave the glory and honor to the originator of life. This is one thing that differentiated him from the magicians and wizards of the time.

When John the Baptist was in prison he sent some of his disciples to verify that Jesus was indeed the Messiah. In Luke 7:20-22 we see the men coming to Jesus, asking if He is the One or if there will be another. He sends back word to John "...the blind recieve sight, the lame walk, those with leprocy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised and the good news is preached to the poor." This simple statement fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah 35:5-6, and separates Jesus from the magicians of the day to all that heard and witnessed His miracles.

Jesus Christ came to open the eyes of the blind and open the ears of the deaf, such that they might hear His words of salvation and fully experience the glory of the Lord as intended by God's original design. Do not let the worlds views blind your eyes or mute your ears from realizing His miracles in your daily life.
© Sondove Enterprises, 2010
For additional Daily Thoughts, visit:

Saturday, December 10, 2011

God's Love Continues

"When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son." - Hosea 11:1

Who of you are fathers or mothers and would not do anything to save your child from harm? It is second to nothing in our hearts and minds when it comes to our role as loving parent. There have been times in my children's life when I have wanted to engage and save them from themselves through advice and counsel, only to have them venture down a path anyway. This in no way reduced the amount of love I have for them, if anything it intensified it as I sought more ways to influence and help them in their quest for life.

Why would the Lord be any different? His love for the children of Israel was deep, through generations and generations. Still as with any child, their disobedience was prevalent and contined to drive a more determined effort. You recall the love that God had for Israel as he destined them to multiply and to dwell in the promised land. Through the battles of David and the wealth and wisdom of Solomon, He continued to bless them. When they sought wickedness and evil in Sodom and Gomorrah, He loved them enough to allow Abraham to argue for their salvation. There are countless times the Lord has shown His love for his children despite their rebellious nature as Israel matured.

You recall when God, through Moses, called His children out of the bondage in Egypt. Despite their complaints and rebellion in the wilderness making and worshipping idols, He fed them. He brought them to the promised land, albeit many years later after Moses death. His love never wavered for His chosen people. This prophecy in Hosea bridges these examples of love from their history to God's love of the future.

You see the Messiah will come out of Egypt as well, breaking the bondage of sin in our lives. Through His life and death on the cross God's love was never more prevalent to His people than through the death of his son. This prophecy is fulfilled in Matthew 2:13-15. God sends and angel to alert Joseph and Mary to take Jesus to Egypt and escape death by Herod's mandate. Showing once again the deep love of His children and specifically His Son. Years later, Joseph and Mary return from Egypt with the Christ child to live in Nazareth from then on. Here again we find through God's prophetic word and His subsequent action the fulfillment of Messianic prophecy in the one known as Jesus Christ.