Thursday, December 19, 2013

the me in "us"

December 19, 2013
Isaiah 9:6…to us a son is given

Ever thought of the word “us.” It’s a simple little word with only two letters. Actually it is one of the first words we learn to read as young children. Yet, for all its’ smallness it contains so much. “Us” in this verse means “you and me.” God gave “us” His Son to accomplish what we could not. We could never attain our salvation but Jesus did it for “us.” How happy I am today for that little two letter word!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

this is he...

December 18, 2013
Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born…

Not just any child. All children born are special and great gifts from God. Yet, this child was beyond special and the ultimate gift of God, His son, Jesus. He would save His people. He would lead them. We sing a beautiful song at our church, "Wonderful Merciful Savior." The lyrics tell the story of Jesus and His saving power so eloquently.

"Wonderful Merciful Savior"

Wonderful, merciful Savior
Precious Redeemer and friend
Who would have thought that a lamb could
Rescue the souls of men
Oh, You rescue the souls of men

Counselor, Comforter, Keeper
Spirit we long to embrace
You offer hope when our hearts have
Hopelessly lost the way
Oh, we hopelessly lost the way

You are the one that we praise
You are the one we adore
You give the healing and grace
Our hearts always hunger for
Oh, our hearts always hunger for

Almighty, infinite Father
Faithfully loving Your own
Here in our weakness You find us
Falling before Your throne
Oh, we're falling before Your throne


This is that baby wrapped in a blanket and laid in a watering trough for farm animals. This is that baby who wasn’t visited by world leaders, or royalty, or the wealthy but instead, lowly shepherds at the bottom of society. This is the baby born to a young Jewish girl and a carpenter from Nazareth. This is he.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

worshipping in the accomplishment...

December 17, 2013
Luke 2:20 And the Shepherds returned glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

God always does what He says He will do; He is, as His word tells us, an unchanging God. He might not accomplish it in a manner in which we would prefer but it is done. The same is true in this instance. He did bring about His will. The king, our king, was born; He came. No one, especially in the Jewish people expected the savior to come born to a lowly carpenter in a stable. Yet, these shepherds found exactly what had been told them, and they worshiped. When we see God accomplishing His will in our lives do we worship? This is a miracle whenever this happens. God is touching us with His divine will. At the very least that deserves some sort of worship within us. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

choosing to treasure...

December 16, 2013
Luke 2:19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart

Great and miraculous things had happened to Mary in the short span of nine months. Her life had become greatly altered by the hand of God and in such a way that there was no doubt to her that they were miracles preformed by Him. God had touched her life. She purposed in her heart not to forget any of it. The definition of treasure as it is used in this verse is “to keep or regard as precious; value highly.” This is what Mary did for the memories of what God had done for her. She regarded them as precious, meaning she didn’t just forget about them in the midst of her everyday life. She also didn’t allow the difficulties associated with them to cloud or cover up the preciousness of her memories. Mary in her heart knew that God and His miracles were worth more than to allow the hardships of life to dim the blessings of it. Do we? Granted we won’t have miracles like or as big as Mary’s but we would be lying if we said nothing miraculous had ever happened to us. It has. Miracles happen everyday. The key is do we choose to regard them as precious and treasure them in our hearts so that we won’t forget them or allow the hardships of life to overshadow them.   

Friday, December 13, 2013

which one are we...

December 13, 2013
Luke 2:16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph and the baby lying in the manager

They went with “haste.” They were told what to do and they went to do it. I love how kids are different. If they are given the same task to preform all three of them will go about getting it done differently. We have one who will jump up and like the shepherds go about the task with haste, one who will give us a dramatic dialog about why this task is a bother, and one who will take their time before going about the task maybe even require a reminder (if you know my kiddos I’ll leave it to you to figure out whose who!) I think that my three kids show us how three responses of we can react to God’s directing our lives. We can either be like the shepherds who left with haste, we can be like the child who went but whose heart had the wrong attitude about it (which is contrary to the attitude of the shepherds by the way), or we can be like the one who is totally willful and require constant prodding by God to obey. So, which is it? We can be sure that God will call us to go somewhere or to do something that we might not want to do; the question is how will we respond.