Hanukkah 2019 & New Year 2020

Paul Wilbur

We had a great time during services this past Sunday. Pastor Carlos, one of our campus pastors at Celebration Church, came by to pinch hit for Pastor Stovall, and he did a great job inspiring us to stay with the program. His message was to beware of the giant in the land named ‘complacency’. It is always good to get a wake-up call, and especially when things are going well.

Toward the end of his message I felt a very strong sense that the Holy Spirit wanted to minister to some of us who weren’t doing so well for several different reasons. As you might know, even from some painful personal experiences, the holidays can be difficult due to loss of relationships, loved ones, and more. Some may even feel a heightened sense of confusion, rejection, disappointment and loneliness. These were the ones that the Lord wanted to speak to, I believe.

Two days ago, Sunday the 29th, 2019 we lit the final light on the Hanukkah menorah. I took the platform to remind our family that there were two great miracles that we celebrate during Hanukkah, the Feast of Dedication. First, that a small band of priestly zealots called the Maccabees, defeated the giant army of Antiochus from Greece and Syria. This was a HUGE miracle considering the size and power of that army! But Antiochus made a big blunder when he set himself up in the Temple of YHVH in Jerusalem and declared himself to be god. He stained the holy altar with the blood of pigs and desecrated the Temple with idols and blasphemies of all kinds.

The second miracle we celebrate at Hanukkah is the single days supply of holy oil that burned for eight days while the fresh supply could be produced by the priests. That light was the symbol of the manifest presence of the Eternal God and was never to be extinguished or run out of oil.

So, the ‘word’ was basically this. If you feel like you are running on your last days supply of oil…come to the altar, dedicate yourself to be a house where the Light of God, Jesus the Messiah, can burn bright in you, and the oil you need, the supply that is more than enough will be poured into your life. In a nutshell,” the oil is on the way!”

He wants us to finish strong; not just enough, but to have more than enough so there is plenty to share! Our God specializes in giants and oil! Remember David and Goliath? No problem! How about the widow and her son dying from starvation with no oil? No problem again!

Jesus said, “If you who are evil know how to give good things to your children, HOW MUCH MORE will your Heavenly Father give you the OIL (Holy Spirit; Luke 11:13), GOOD THINGS (Matt.7:11) if you just ask.” We sing the song, “You’re a good, good Father”, and I’m sure you believe that. So, take Him at His word and ask Him for what you need right now. Dedicate your life to be a candle burning brightly in a dark and perverse generation. He is good ALL the time; the Giant is dead, and the oil is on the way! Happy and blessed New Year!

Shalom,

Paul Wilbur

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