Tuesday, December 25, 2012

December 24th & 25th- Good Christian Men, Rejoice!

Good Christian Men, Rejoice

Good Christian men rejoice
With heart and soul and voice!
Give ye heed to what we say
News! News!
Jesus Christ is born today!
Ox and ass before Him bow
And He is in the manger now
Christ is born today!
Christ is born today!
Good Christian men, rejoice
With heart and soul and voice
Now ye need not fear the grave:
Peace! Peace!
Jesus Christ was born to save
Calls you one and calls you all
To gain His everlasting hall
Christ was born to save
Christ was born to save

Good Christian men (and women) rejoice!  With heart and soul and voice….Christ was born to save!  As we close this Advent season with the birth of Christ remember that He came to save.  Yes, He came to save us FROM the penalty of sin and death but He also came to save us TO Himself and His eternal purposes.
He came to save us from the fear of the grave but also to take up residence in our hearts, souls and voices.  Rejoicing with our lives as now, in Him, nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Nothing. There is no great gift.

Romans 8:31-39;
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? 33 Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; 34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. 35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 Just as it is written,

For Your sake we are being put to death all day long;
We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Good Christian men and women rejoice….in Christ we have been made good, we are loved, we are gifted with every spiritual blessing…we have been given a new heart, soul and voice. No matter what the circumstances or times...we are His!  Rejoice!  Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

December 23rd- We Three Kings

We Three Kings

We three kings of Orient are
Bearing gifts we traverse afar
Field and fountain, moor and mountain
Following yonder star
O Star of wonder, star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding
Guide us to thy Perfect Light

Born a King on Bethlehem's plain
Gold I bring to crown Him again
King forever, ceasing never
Over us all to reign

O Star of wonder, star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding
Guide us to Thy perfect light

The Gentile kings arrived in Jerusalem, a most logical place to find a king, and they do find a king, King Herod.  Imagine the palace upheaval.  A new king?  A star?  Foreign kings arrived to give homage and worship?  When the text says Herod was troubled, I think that is an understatement.  Sent on their way, they find Jesus in Bethlehem and worship and rejoice there…O Star of wonder guiding them to Thy perfect light.

Matthew 2:1-12;

1 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, 2 “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.” 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 Gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for this is what has been written by the prophet:

6 And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah,
Are by no means least among the leaders of Judah;
For out of you shall come forth a Ruler
Who will shepherd My people Israel.’”

7 Then Herod secretly called the magi and determined from them the exact time the star appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, so that I too may come and worship Him.” 9 After hearing the king, they went their way; and the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them until it came and stood over the place where the Child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 And having been warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, the magi left for their own country by another way.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

December 22nd- O Holy Night (verse 3)

O Holy Night

Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.
And in his name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
With all our hearts we praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,
His power and glory ever more proclaim!
His power and glory ever more proclaim!
I really love this last verse.  Jesus was not just a teacher, an example…He was the Enabler, the Lord over all.  He came to do the work of the Cross to give us the power Source to do His work- to be His people.  He did all the work so that the Holy Spirit can dwell in the lives of His Believers.

The final hours of Jesus’ life were a “Holy Night” as well, completing the journey that was the Father’s will. The baby, grown into a man, was willing doing the work that the Father had given Him to do and He laid out an overview of His plan to His 11 disciples in John 13-17.   Love one another.  
The gospel He was about to accomplish was a gospel of love and peace, that satisfied God’s wrath and justice.   It would break chains and set brothers (and sisters) free…..oppression would cease for those who are in Him.  Christ is the Lord!  What praise should be on our lips!  His power and glory ever more proclaim!   

Friday, December 21, 2012

December 21st- O Holy Night (verse 2)

O Holy Night

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
O'er the world a star is sweetly gleaming,
Now come the wisemen from out of the Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friends.
He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!
This verse is talking about the Wisemen….in a few days we’ll look more closely at that account and the star “sweetly gleaming” showing them the way to the newly born Messiah.  Men from the east….Gentile men.  I just love the fact that Gentiles are a part of the birth story of Jesus!  This is so significant it isn’t even funny, so today we'll focus on that! 

“He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger”….our need is the same as any other and weakness is no stranger.  Sin kills, destroys and weakens us and as we see this fact we start to see our greatest need for a Savior!  Jew-Gentile-slave-free-male-female…all need and all our weak.  Jesus the Messiah was born to meet that need and be our strength. Again- I love, love that the Gentiles were invited to the spectacular opening scene of the birth of Jesus. Take a look at what the work of Jesus did for the Jew and the Gentile;
Ephesians 2:11-20

"11 Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called “Uncircumcision” by the so-called “Circumcision,” which is performed in the flesh by human hands— 12 remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, [i]excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, 15 by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, 16 and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity. 17 And He came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near; 18 for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit."
Let us remember that “O Holy night” and “Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!”….He is our King, our Head, our Husband, our Lord….for the Jew and the Gentile....anyone who trusts in Him, may He be praised!  

Thursday, December 20, 2012

December 20th- O Holy Night (Verse 1)

O Holy Night

O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born;
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!
The World had laid in sin and error for absolute ages….thousands of years. God had been speaking in many different ways but at the right time, after 400 years of silence, God spoke through His Son and His birth was announced by His messengers, angels.  It truly was a Holy night.  Jesus is much better than the angels and He came to redeem not the angels but mankind…image bearers marred by sin. God spoke;   

Hebrews 1:1-4
1 God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. 3 And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they.

Imagine the thrill of hope that the shepherds felt as they saw sky and heard the angels.  Imagine the thrill of hope and the rejoicing as the angels message was confirmed when they saw Jesus but this message was not just for them it was for the weary world…..let’s fall on our knees as the shepherds did!  

Luke 2:8-20
8 In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; 11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”

15 When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. 17 When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

December 19th- Hark, the Herald Angels Sing (verses 2 and 3)

Hark, the Herald Angels Sing!

Christ by highest heav'n adored
Christ the everlasting Lord!
Late in time behold Him come
Offspring of a Virgin's womb
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see
Hail the incarnate Deity
Pleased as man with man to dwell
Jesus, our Emmanuel
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

Hail the heav'n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Ris'n with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

Emmanuel veiled in flesh, offspring of a Virgin’s womb….the Word and the Light of men.   Jesus Christ- fully God in Deity and fully flesh identifying with humanity.  Jesus the Son of Righteousness, Prince of Peace.  Jesus explained the Father to us by His life fulfilling the Law to completion and then willingly laying down His life to purchase us a second birth.  Oh what a beautiful Life-song of Redemption! 

John 1:1-5

“1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”

John 1:14-18
“14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 John *testified about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’” 16 For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. 17 For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.”

Hark! The herald angels sing…"Glory to the newborn King!"  Oh the angels sang to proclaim the birth of Jesus!  Imagine the sky on the hillside….angels announcing the Good News.  Jesus was born to live the Good News then dying to purchasing the Good News of His Gospel.  Hark!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

December 18th- Hark, the Herald Angels Sing (Verse 1)

Hark, the Herald Angels Sing

Hark the herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled"
Joyful, all ye nations rise
Join the triumph of the skies
With the angelic host proclaim:
"Christ is born in Bethlehem"
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

King Jesus is here! King of kings and Lord of lords.  Jesus. How are you rejoicing this season?  How’s your heart in these last few hectic days?  Is it joyful?  What are you listening too?  The Truth or the lies?  Hark!  I don’t know about you but I don’t use the word “Hark” in my daily language?  Hark- listen- pay attention- hear- attend too….Hark.
Christmastime is a challenge for me to “harken” to the right things. It is much easier to “hark” to the things of this world.  Remember to take some time to listen.  Listen to the good news of the celebration of the birth of the King….the One who reconciled God and sinners.  Hark!

Here is a link to the song;  http://youtu.be/wbdvo019mgM

Monday, December 17, 2012

December 17th- It came upon a Midnight Clear

It came upon a Midnight Clear

It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth,
To touch their harps of gold:
"Peace on the earth, goodwill to men
From heavens all gracious King!"
The world in solemn stillness lay
To hear the angels sing.
O ye beneath life's crushing load,
Whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow;
Look now, for glad and golden hours
Come swiftly on the wing;
Oh rest beside the weary road
And hear the angels sing.

Can you hear the angels sing? What do you hear when life’s load is crushing you?  When your form is bending so low that you can’t look up?  When the toil and painfully slow steps are too much to bear?  What do you hear?  Where do you look?
The angels sang of the Truth….”Peace on the earth, goodwill to men from heavens all gracious King!”  Jesus is here….Messiah has come.  30some years later Jesus would speak the words….”28 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

Jesus came to bear the toilsome load for us, as the world in solemn stillness lay.  It came upon a midnight clear….the glorious song of Jesus.  Jesus is here! Jesus the Redeemer has come!  Listen and look….Rest in Him!
Here is a link to the song; http://youtu.be/GaxB0xEbO0c

Sunday, December 16, 2012

December 16th- Thou didst leave Thy Throne (verses 3 and 4)

Thou didst leave Thy Throne

Thou camest, O Lord, with the living Word,
That should set Thy people free;
But with mocking scorn and with crown of thorn,
They bore Thee to Calvary.

When the heav’ns shall ring, and her choirs shall sing,
At Thy coming to victory,
Let Thy voice call me home, saying “Yet there is room,
There is room at My side for thee.”

My heart shall rejoice, Lord Jesus,
When Thou comest and callest for me.

Jesus, the Living Word, came as the last Adam and became the life-giving spirit.  Calvary was always the plan. The death-burial-resurrection was always the plan….Jesus’ resurrection ensures our victory!  1 Corinthians 15:21-26;

21 For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, 24 then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be abolished is death.
Jesus is victorious and death will no longer have its victory!  There is room…so come!  Jesus will call us home, whether it is at any moment, after a long life or at His coming. We are set free and our hearts should rejoice!  1 Corinthians 15:50-58 sums up the victory completely;

“50 Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality.

54 But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; 57 but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.

May we remain filled with hope and investing in the eternal Kingdom that cannot be shaken…knowing our home is intact!  My heart shall rejoice, Lord Jesus, when Thou comest and callest for me.” Rejoice there is room in our hearts for Him!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

December 15th-Thou didst leave Thy Throne (Verses 1 and 2)

Thou didst leave Thy Throne

Thou didst leave Thy throne and Thy kingly crown,
When Thou camest to earth for me;
But in Bethlehem’s home was there found no room
For Thy holy nativity.

O come to my heart, Lord Jesus,
There is room in my heart for Thee.

Heaven’s arches rang when the angels sang,
Proclaiming Thy royal degree;
But of lowly birth didst Thou come to earth,
And in great humility.

I simply can’t imagine what it “cost” Jesus to leave His heavenly throne and to take on the confinements of flesh- the flesh of a baby.  A baby-child-man born for the sole purpose of living out a perfect life and dying a substitutionary death so that there could be a home in our hearts. Philippians 2:6-11;

“6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Jesus willing humbled Himself in the incarnation, in all the suffering and in the faith of obedience to death.  He chose all of this for the sake of love and the righteous requirements of God…for relationship. The humility is astounding.  The “cost” is immeasurable.  Praise you Lord. Praise You! Make your life at home in my heart…there is more than enough room for You, may it be all for You!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Silent Night, Holy Night

Silent Night, Holy Night

Silent night, holy night,
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon virgin mother and Child.
Holy Infant, so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace.

Silent night, holy night,
Shepherds quake at the sight;
Glories stream from heaven afar,
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ the Savior is born,
Christ the Savior is born!

Silent night, holy night,
Son of God, love’s pure light;
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth,
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth.

Silent night, holy night
Wondrous star, lend thy light;
With the angels let us sing,
Alleluia to our King;
Christ the Savior is born,
Christ the Savior is born!

Silent night, Holy night and so it was…..angels announced the birth of the Son of God to poor shepherds as Mary travailed in labor and Jesus was born.  It was the dawn of God’s redeeming grace.  Because God loved the world, Jesus Christ came to save and not to judge.  John 3:16-18;

16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Think about this Silent Night and Holy Night….have you ever really thought about Emmanuel, God with us, and if in His coming He had come in judgment because of His holiness?  God is holy, Jesus is holy because He is God but He did not come to judge, He came as the dawn of God’s redeeming grace.  

Literally, on that Silent Holy night if Jesus would have been coming to judge, then He would have issued from Mary’s womb and the entire world would have been obliterated.  Gone. Judged rightly.  It would truly have been a Silent, Holy Night….but that was not His redeeming plan, not at all.  Be in awe of His redeeming grace.  The world so desperately needs it!

Here is a link to the song; http://youtu.be/1IdxXejHj8Q

Thursday, December 13, 2012

December 13th- "O Little Town of Bethlehem"

O Little town of Bethlehem

O little town of Bethlehem
How still we see thee lie
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight

For Christ is born of Mary
And gathered all above
While mortals sleep, the angels keep
Their watch of wondering love
O morning stars together
Proclaim the holy birth
And praises sing to God the King
And Peace to men on earth

How silently, how silently
The wondrous gift is given!
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of His heaven.
No ear may hear His coming,
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive him still,
The dear Christ enters in.

O holy Child of Bethlehem
Descend to us, we pray
Cast out our sin and enter in
Be born to us today
We hear the Christmas angels
The great glad tidings tell

O come to us, abide with us
Our Lord Emmanuel

What a favorite Christmas Carol….thoughts of cattle, sheep and hay.  It was a quiet night on the outskirts of Bethlehem, quiet but busy because of the census and with no room in the inn.   The Splendor of the heavens, Jesus God came.  One of my favorite lines in “O Little town of Bethlehem” is;

“How silently, how silently the wonderous gift is given! So God imparts to human hearts the blessings of His Heaven.”
Oh yes, Jesus was born to offer the wonderous free gift of heaven….but this gift starts in human hearts that trust in Him alone for their rescue and salvation.  Those that see that their sin cannot be paid for expect for the Cross of Jesus and trust Him alone are given this free gift of grace.  This gift of eternal life…the blessing of His Heaven.  Jesus defined this eternal life in John 17:3 as knowing God the Father and Jesus His Son.  

“3 This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

To personally know and experience the One True God on a personal level is eternal life…the highest blessedness of the creature.  This wondrous gift is given in the person and work of Jesus Christ….so that God can impart to human hearts the blessings of His Heaven.  O little town of Bethlehem how still we see thee lie…the everlasting Light has come!  

Here is a link to the song;  http://youtu.be/aEQDxDb91Dk

Cross references:


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

December 12th- O Come, O Come Emmanuel (Verses 3 and 4)

O Come, O Come Emmanuel

Oh, come, our Wisdom from on high,
Who ordered all things mightily;
To us the path of knowledge show,
and teach us in her ways to go.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to you, O Israel!

Oh, come, Desire of nations, bind
In one the hearts of all mankind;
Oh, bid our sad divisions cease,
And be yourself our King of Peace.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to you, O Israel!

I’m not very familiar with these last 2 verses but they are packed with truth.  Jesus, according to 1 Corinthians 1:30, became to us wisdom from God; 
30 But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, 31 so that, just as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

Wisdom can be defined as; knowledge applied.  In other words, Jesus did not come to simply ransom the captives and save us from death’s dark shadow (which would have been incredibly enough) but He also purchased us in order to place us in a wisdom based, amazing masterpiece plan. This master plan spans history, time, race, gender and so much more.  Jesus ransomed us and put us in His Body so that as our King of Peace filled with wisdom, He can rule and reign in us and through us. We are equal yet different members of One Body.  Paul put it this way in Romans 12:3-5;
3”For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. 4 For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.

He is the Desire of the Nations binding hearts together with Himself and for Himself….the Body of Christ has a work to do- to love one another, so that the world will know who He is.  So Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel!  He has come!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

December 11th- O come, O come Emmanuel (verse 1 and 2)

O come, O come Emmanuel (Verses 1 and 2)

O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death's dark shadows put to flight.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel

These first two verses are so powerful.  Read them slowly.  Emmanuel, God with us…came to ransom the captives and put death’s dark shadow to flight. The nation of Israel was not the only captives, all of mankind was held captive by sin, death and satan and Jesus came to ransom the captives.  
Ransom is defined as; a sum or money or other payment demanded or paid for the release of a prisoner. Jesus is the Servant that God the Father’s soul delighted in, He came to bring forth justice and ransom the captives by giving His Own life as a payment for the ransom of many.
Isaiah 42:1-10a;
1“Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold;
My chosen one in whom My soul delights.
I have put My Spirit upon Him;
He will bring forth justice to the nations.
2 “He will not cry out or raise His voice,
Nor make His voice heard in the street.
3 “A bruised reed He will not break
And a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish;
He will faithfully bring forth justice.
4 “He will not be disheartened or crushed
Until He has established justice in the earth;
And the coastlands will wait expectantly for His law.”

5 Thus says God the Lord,
Who created the heavens and stretched them out,
Who spread out the earth and its offspring,
Who gives breath to the people on it
And spirit to those who walk in it,
6 “I am the Lord, I have called You in righteousness,
I will also hold You by the hand and watch over You,
And I will appoint You as a covenant to the people,
As a light to the nations,

7 To open blind eyes,
To bring out prisoners from the dungeon
And those who dwell in darkness from the prison.
8 “I am the Lord, that is My name;
I will not give My glory to another,
Nor My praise to graven images.
9 “Behold, the former things have come to pass,
Now I declare new things;
Before they spring forth I proclaim them to you.”

10 Sing to the Lord a new song,
Sing His praise from the end of the earth!

Jesus came to seek and save that which was lost and be the Servant Who would lay down His life for many.  Anyone who trusts in Him is set free; free from sin and death’s dark shadow.  Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel, Shall come to thee, O Israel.” And whosoever will come.  
 Here is a link to the song;   http://youtu.be/ULfmzfo8VaU

Monday, December 10, 2012

December 10th- "For unto us a Child is born"

 For unto us a child is born

For unto us a Child is born, For unto us a Son is given, and
the government
Will be on His shoulder; And he shall reign over all, and his name
shall be called
Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, the everlasting father, the Prince of Peace…the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace
This particular Carol was made famous by Handel’s Messiah….but it was famous way before that.  This is pure prophecy from Isaiah….prophecy of the whole scoop of the life of the Messiah, His first coming and His second.  Look at the context and what Jesus is doing. 

Isaiah 9:2-7
“2 The people who walk in darkness
Will see a great light;
Those who live in a dark land,
The light will shine on them.
3 You shall multiply the nation,
You shall increase their gladness;
They will be glad in Your presence
As with the gladness of harvest,
As men rejoice when they divide the spoil.
4 For You shall break the yoke of their burden and the staff on their shoulders,
The rod of their oppressor, as at the battle of Midian.
5 For every boot of the booted warrior in the battle tumult,
And cloak rolled in blood, will be for burning, fuel for the fire.
6 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
7 There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace,
On the throne of David and over his kingdom,
To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness.
From then on and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.”

Jesus came to do a spiritual work that waged war beyond anything that we have ever known or understood.  He fought and He won. Conquered.  He is the Light to the blind….Joy of every glad heart….the Burden breaker of every yoke… He is the Prince of Peace.  The kingdom of Peace is His.  His government will have no end.  He is the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father…Prince of Peace. 
Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30;

28 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

This child born became a man, fully God and fully man, to bear the burden and weight we could not carry to offer us eternal Peace and a Kingdom that cannot be shaken.  “For unto us a child is born….”  Justice and righteousness will be accomplished.  The zeal, the fervor-passion-power, of the Lord will accomplish this.  Wow. Now, take a listen to Handel’s Messiah!
Here is a link to Handel’s Messiah “For unto us a Child is born”;