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08 January 2017 @ 07:35 pm
GOD WITH US

Read Isaiah 7:10-14, 9:1-7; Matthew 1:18-2:6


  All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"-which means, "God with us." Matthew 1:22–23 NIV
* * *
  The book of Isaiah was written about 700 years before Christ was born and is filled with prophesies about the coming Messiah. When the angel Gabriel appeared to Joseph, he quoted 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.” Jesus would be called, "Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6b)
* * *
  Isaiah prophesied that this Holy Child would live "In Galilee of the Gentiles.” saying, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined." (Isaiah 9:1b-2 NKJV)
* * *
  Dear Lord, You truly are my Wonderful Counselor and I am so thankful that the light of the gospel has shined on me. Just as Isaiah foretold the coming of Jesus, help me to tell the good news wherever I go, especially to members of my family. Keep me faithful in reading Your Word so that I will have something fresh to share with my family and friends.
* * *
  For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 NIV
 
 
Current Mood: thankfulthankful
 
 
10 January 2015 @ 10:48 am
MY ANXIOUS THOUGHTS
Read Psalms 139

   Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Psalm 139:23
* * *
   David never tried to hide his negative thoughts from God. Instead, he poured them out to his Heavenly Father, knowing he would be understood. He said, "O LORD, you have searched me and you know me… you perceive my thoughts from afar… Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD." (vv.1,2b, 4)
   When he feared for his life, he trusted God for his safety saying, "All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." (v.16) When he wondered if he was doing the right thing he said, “See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (v.24)
* * *
   Dear Father, I too have anxious thoughts. What a comfort to know that you had plans for me even before I was born and all of the days of my life were known by You – past, present and future. “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.”(v.13) Help me to quiet my heart with these precious truths from Your Word.
* * *
   I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me. Psalm 131:2
 
 
28 December 2014 @ 02:24 pm
RACHEL WEEPING FOR HER CHILDREN
   When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under– Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: Matthew 2:16–17 NIV
* * *
   More than 1400 years before Christ was born, the patriarch Jacob buried his beloved wife, Rachel. We read, "So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem). Over her tomb Jacob set up a pillar, and to this day that pillar marks Rachel's tomb." (Genesis 35:19–20) The prophet Jeremiah predicted a future day when children would be slaughtered near Rachel's grave. (Jeremiah 31:15) This was fulfilled when Herod killed all of the male babies under two, trying to destroy the Jewish Messiah.
* * *
   We live in a day where it could be said "A voice was heard in America of weeping and mourning for children, because they are no more." The travesty of millions of babies aborted over the past thirty plus years must grieve your heart, Lord. Don't let us become apathetic to the cries of unborn babies, or the grief caused to women in our day.
* * *
   "A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more." Matthew 2:18 NIV
 
 
23 December 2014 @ 11:21 am
THE WISE MEN AND HEROD

    When he had called together all the people's chief priests and teachers of the  law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. "In Bethlehem in Judea," they replied, "for this is what the prophet has written:  Matthew 2:4–5
* * *
      Long before Jesus was born, the prophets had predicted His coming. The priests and rabbis knew that the Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem because of a prophesy they related to Herod and the Magi. We know that even the common people were taught this prophesy since later–when Jesus started His ministry–the people said, "How can the Christ come from Galilee? Does not the Scripture say that the Christ will come from David's family and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?" (John 7:41b-42)
     The people must not have realized that He was born in Bethlehem at the time of the census. The Jews of Jesus time really had no excuse for not recognizing their Messiah. Had they truly been looking for Him, they would have known who He was–just as the Wise Men and even Herod did.
* * *
     Lord, I praise You for the reliability of Your Word. Help me to be willing to share the message of Your coming with my children, their friends and all who might be seeking for truth. As the Christmas cards say, "Wise men still seek Him."
* * *
     "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him." Matthew 2:2 NIV
 
 
16 December 2014 @ 12:27 pm
SIMEON'S PROPHESY

Read Luke 2:21-40
    Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: "This child is destined… to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too." Luke 2:34–35
* * *
    Holding the newborn baby in his arms, Simeon spoke words from God: Mary's life would be filled with both joy and sorrow. Her baby would be at the center of controversy. Her Son would be the revealer of hearts – even her own. She would have to learn to step back, be silent, and continue to ponder things in her heart.
   Shepherds could praise Him, Pharisees would curse Him and children would adore Him – but Mary could only quietly pray for Him. He was her son, but he was also her Savior. God's plan would proceed as she stood by and watched.
* * *
    Lord, I know You have a plan for each of our children. Mary had some very human sons and daughters in addition to her perfect Son, Jesus. Would they ever see Him as their Messiah?
    No doubt, Mary prayed that her other children would accept Him as their personal Savior. It wasn't until after the resurrection that they truly believed – but in God's perfect time – Mary's prayers were answered.
* * *
    And Joseph and His (Jesus) mother marveled at those things which were spoken of Him. Luke 2:33 NKJV
 
 
 
19 May 2014 @ 12:50 pm
BLESSING AND PROSPERITY

Read Psalms 127–128

    Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in his ways. Blessings and prosperity will be yours; Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house… children are a reward from him. Psalm 128:1-2b, 3a; Psalm 127:3b
* * *
   The Psalms portray children as a sign of blessing and prosperity. The Psalmist declares, “Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth.” (127:3-4) Along with this blessing, however, comes a warning: Unless the LORD builds the house its builders labor in vain. (127:1)
* * *
   God promises that if we put Him first in our lives we will eat the fruit of our labors–a blessed home. But when we focus on what the world expects of us, working long hours and doing too much, our lives become unbalanced. When this happens, the Psalmist says, "In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat–for he grants sleep to those he loves." (127:2)
* * *
   Dear Father, I pray for the peace and rest that comes from focusing on You, even when I am busy. Help me to order my priorities according to Your perfect will. Thank You for the blessings of children.
* * *
   May the LORD bless you from Zion all the days of your life… and may you live to see your children's children.   Psalm 128:5–6 NIV

 
 
08 May 2014 @ 02:41 pm
A LAMP TO MY FEET

Read Psalm 119


    I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.  Psalm 119:104–105 NIV
* * *
    Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the book and the theme is heart rending – David has experienced it all. He agonizes over wicked men delighting in his troubles and the memories of sin in his own life. Sincerely repentant, he says, "I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free.” (v.32)
    Now as he seeks the Lord with all of his heart he determines to continue to walk in freedom from sin. Hiding God's Word in his heart, he finds that he has more insight and understanding than all of his teachers. He has answers for those who taunt him, and comfort in his suffering. He says, “Your promises have been thoroughly tested, and your servant loves them. Though I am lowly and despised, I do not forget your precepts.”  (Psalm 119:140–141)
* * *
    Lord, help us to faithfully teach our children from the Bible and help them to hide it in their hearts. Through the Psalmist You promised that Your faithfulness continues through all generations. Like David, I have put my hope in your word. (Psalm 119:90,114)
* * *
    How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:9–11 NIV

 
 
13 April 2014 @ 09:57 am
FRDAY'S HERE BUT SUNDAY'S COMING!

Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed -- in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed .   1 Cor 15:51-52 NKJV
* * *
    Easter is coming late this year, but in just a few days it will be here.  I prefer late April - in March it always takes me by surprise.  Easter came as a surprise to believers in Bible times as well. No matter how many times the Lord told them that He would die and rise again the third day, they couldn't seem to comprehend. They were ready to see Him as King, Messiah, Promised One - but suffering, death and resurrection - that was unthinkable!
* * *
  Our hope comes not just from Friday (the cross) but from the Sunday that follows. Jesus died for our sins on Friday - but He conquered death on Sunday, so that those of us who receive Him need not fear death any more.
* * *
  For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life John 3:16
    Have you believed in the only begotten Son of God?

 
 
08 April 2014 @ 01:19 pm
IN MY HOUSE

Read Psalm 101

    I will walk in my house with blameless heart. I will set before my eyes no vile thing. Psalm 101:2b–3
* * *
    David determined in his heart that he would avoid the evil influences that were all around him. He could not control the perverse wickedness he saw as he walked through the land, but he could choose to focus on the deeds of godly faithful people. He could also set boundaries on what he allowed in his own house. If he did not set these limits, he knew that the evil would cling to his own mind and heart.
    Christians today have even more difficulty in setting boundaries. The unlimited evil coming into our lives every day by television and internet has the power to destroy us. It takes determined discipline to control those influences. Sometimes the lies are very subtle and our children may not be able to distinguish between truth and error. The Psalmist says, “No one who practices deceit will dwell in my house; no one who speaks falsely will stand in my presence.” (Psalm 101:7)
* * *
    Lord, convict us when we allow evil men and women to indoctrinate our children by way of television. Help us to avoid those images on the internet that would cling to our own minds and hearts, drawing us away from You. Help us to replace those evil influences by cultivating fellowship with faithful Christian friends.
* * *
    My eyes will be on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me; he whose walk is blameless will minister to me.   Psalm 101:6 NIV

 
 
09 January 2014 @ 01:28 pm
A WORTHY EXAMPLE
JOB

    Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil." Job 1:8 NIV
* * *
    The story of Job is quite frightening to a believer’s heart. The interaction between God and Satan is something that we really cannot comprehend. But God did not expect Job, or his friends, to understand everything that transpired in Heaven. One thing we know; Job was living righteously and God was proud of him. Those of us, who want to please God, would do well to look at his example.
    Job prayed for his children even into adulthood. He raised them to love each other and enjoy one another's company, but he also maintained a discerning attitude, knowing that they could fall into sin.
    Job maintained his integrity in spite of the most adverse of circumstances, and when it was all over, he prayed for his friends who had completely misjudged him.
* * *
    Lord, I would never ask for the trials that Job and his wife endured, but I do want to be the kind of person who would make You proud. You taught us to pray, do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one." (Luke 11:4 NKJV) I am praying this for myself and my family and friends today. Amen
* * *
    "After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before."
    "The LORD blessed the latter part of Job's life more than the first."
Job 42:10, 12a NIV