Monday, December 22, 2008
"Don't be frightened, Mary," the angel told her, "for God has decided to bless you! You will become pregnant and have a son, and you are to name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!" (Luke 1:30-33 NLT).
An angel of the Lord appeared to [Joseph] in a dream. "Joseph, son of David," the angel said, "do not be afraid to go ahead with your marriage to Mary. For the child within her has been conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins" (Matthew 1:20-21 NLT).
And so our infinite God stepped out of the perfect peace and pure joy of heaven into a single cell in the womb of a girl--a girl that He had knit together in her mother's womb. For nine months baby God grew. He grew a heart, lungs, and eyelashes--all part of His ingenious design. Then, in a stable with animals that He had created, baby God was born. The One who had dreamed up the earth moved nearer to place His feet on it. God didn't come as a grown man--that would have been marvelous enough--He came as a wobbly-necked newborn.
It was His plan.
. . . From heavenly crown to earthly cradle . . .
. . . From throne to womb . . . and then to a stumbling toddler . . . to a curious child . . . to a young adult . . . to a grown man . . . to die on a cross.
All to rescue us.
It's just too much. Yet it's not a mere story, it's not just a fairy tale. It's an event that actually happened. It's historically true. At a point in time, the brilliant Master of the Universe left the perfect love of heaven to step down to earth and rescue us.
What kind of God does that? What kind of God leaves His overwhelmingly magnificent home, a home that's more marvelous than we can ever imagine because we've only lived in fallenland? What motivated You to come here, God? To submit Yourself and all of Your infinite glory to the confines of a womb of one of Your creations? And then, years later, to die for those creations--some whom would never even turn and acknowledge what You did for them?
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son . . ." (John 3:16).
Christmas morning was a declaration of the heart of God. Jesus' baby cries proclaimed for all the world, "This is who I am. I am Your God, the God who came to earth to find and rescue you. I am the God of goodness, justice, peace, mercy, hope, and wholeness. I love you deeply--can you see just how much? So do not worry, I am here. Do not fear, I have come."
Our God didn't just say "I love you." He lived "I love you." And He lived His "I love you" all the way from the womb to the cross.
God, The King of the Universe, loves you. So much that it's almost inconceivable. So much that it's hard to believe. But do believe it. It is overwhelmingly, wonderfully true.
In the birth of the Baby in a manger, may your soul find its worth this Christmas.
Friday, December 5, 2008
Below is the part I was adding in.You will see in the NOTE: about looking up the word brilliance. Brilliance not a word I normally use everyday, but it just flowed with my Christmas thought. Then when I looked up the word (to spellcheck it actually), it showed main entry: fire
................hmmmmmmmm never thought of brilliance as fire. Then the definition further intrigued me. So, I went to the Word to see what I could learn.
I went to the concordance to look up words like clarity, burn, purify. I prayed for the Holy Spirit to reveal to me what I needed to discover! As I searched through the Bible, I hit upon several cross references. This sent me in to a studying extreme as I had Bible open, computer on Biblegateway.com, and several papers everywhere with scripture verse addresses written down to look up for further review.
What is my point..........my point is--have you ever lost yourself in the Bible? Don't know where to start? Pray for revelation, guidance, and His teaching. Then go to the concordance for a word that is laying on your heart. Then watch out!!! You will find yourself flipping from verse to verse as He cross references you through His Word!
WHEWWWWWW....what a morning! Thank You Father for your teaching and leaving us Your Word. Praise Your name Jesus!!! Glory, glory, glory..........
The "brilliance" of Christmas
This is our third Christmas since asking Christ into our lives. The expression of being Born Again has such brilliance to it during the Christmas season.
I watch as others are in a Christmas panic. Yet, since coming to know the Lord, I have great peace. A simple peace that the true blessing of the Christmas season is the gift that God gave to all of us- His son, Jesus, who paid the ultimate price for our multitude of sins.
Because of His grace, I cannot get caught up in the frenzy. The Holy Spirit doesn't let me "go there". It's like my brain doesn't even recognize any fleshly fears of getting the right gift, do we have enough money, cookies, cards...on and on and on.
Nope, it is now reborn into me to love this season of Christmas. To love God's gifts of Jesus and the Holy Spirit!
(Note: I quickly looked up the word brilliance. The synonym listed:
Main Entry: fire
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: Exceptional brightness and clarity, as of a cut and polished stone.
Synonyms: brilliancy, luminosity, radiance
Thank you Holy Spirit for the thought of using the word brilliance! )
"John answered them all, "I baptize you with water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire." Luke 3:16
Cross reference Acts 11:15,16
"And I will bring the third part through the fire, Refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested They will call on My name, And I will answer them; I will say, 'They are My people,' And they will say, 'The LORD is my God.'" Zechariah 13:9
Cross reference: Is 48:10, Mal 3:3
"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." Romans 12:2
Cross reference: Gal 6:14