The Christmas Purpose Fulfilled

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It will not last, my friends.  The wickedness of the days we see, the corruptness in the land, will all one day vanish away for good.

In this world, we may see the unfolding of many evil deeds.  At times, it may seem as if the leash has been cut, and like a made dog, the world is running rabid.  But rest assured, dear friends, regardless of what it may look like, God will always have the final say and it will not last.

Psalm 37:12-17 expounds on this truth by letting us know:

“The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.

The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming.

The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation.

Their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken.

A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked.

For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the Lord upholdeth the righteous.”

Therefore, dear one, take heart in what your Lord has done and is doing.  They may rage, but He laughs.  They may try to come against His people, but it is the Lord who will come against those who come against His people.  It is the Lord who will break their attempts and “uphold the righteous.”

When the weariness of this world gets you down.  When you see things that you just cannot seem to understand.  When it seems that things are out of control, remember God is for justice.  God is for righteousness.  And God is for His people.

There is a day coming when all evil will be dealt with and silenced forever.

Take heart, the wickedness you see today will not last.  Zacharias prophesied of our Savior with this promise:

“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people,

And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;

As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began:

That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us;

To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant;

The oath which he sware to our father Abraham,

That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear,

In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.” (Luke 1:68-75)

Friends, let us remember as we have come into the Christmas season, the purpose for it all.

Our Lord, as glorious and celebratory the scene may be, did not come to stay a babe in a manger.  He grew, and died, and rose to crush wickedness once and for all.

Fulfilling prophecies: “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:15; compare Hebrews 2:14).

Defeating darkness: “And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it” (Colossians 2:15).

Ushering in victory: “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).

Because our Lord grew out of the manger and raised out of the grave, the Christmas purpose has been fulfilled.  The promise of our redemption has come and conquered, and victory over wickedness has been won forever.

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Remember What the LORD Thy God Did!

“If thou shalt say in thine heart, These nations are more than I; how can I dispossess them?  Thou shalt not be afraid of them: but shalt well remember what the Lord thy God did unto Pharaoh, and unto all Egypt;” Deuteronomy 7:17-18

Is there something overwhelming before you?  Are there new boundaries that you are looking to breach?  Has fear caused you to miss out on the best that God has for you?

The children of Israel could have answered yes to all these questions.  Forty years prior, they had a chance to enter the Promised Land.  They had a chance to possess everything the Lord had in store for them. But they missed out.

A bad report from some unbelieving spies rendered the people’s resolve for the fight useless (Numbers 13:32).  What they saw as an overwhelming obstacle and what they believed in their heart about themselves (Numbers 13:33) not only affected them, but their negativity spread throughout the entire camp (Numbers 14:1-3).

Because of this, they were made to turn away from what could have been, and they were forced to return to the wilderness of what was.

Approaching the verses above, they now are being prepared, forty years later, to take another shot at their promise.  Moses, in reiterating all the commands of God before they enter, is also teaching them how to overcome any doubts and fears they may have about possessing their promise.

Their fathers couldn’t enter because of unbelief (Hebrews 4:1-3), but Moses wanted this generation to make it.  He wanted them to gain everything God has for them.

They couldn’t do that if they didn’t remember.  Remember who was on their side (Psalm 118:6).  Remember who it was that was fighting for them (Deuteronomy 3:22).

Moses instructs them, when they cross over and when what’s before them seems to be too much for them – when they cross over and that whisper of fear begins to speak, he tells them to remember.  Remember what God has already done and draw strength from those victories.

We may not be trying to dispossess nations to obtain a Promised Land, but in trying to progress or move forward into our own promises, we can let fear stop us.  When we look across the borders of what can be, sometimes it seems daunting.  Overwhelming.  Down-right impossible.

In those times, we would do well to follow Moses’ advice: remember.  Remember what God has already done.

You have your own testimonies of God’s faithfulness and workings in your own life.  You have areas where His help stood out because of the circumstance you were facing.  You have those moments when He spoke to your heart during desperate times, showed you His love, or ushered a victory in for you.

Remember those moving’s of God’s might in your life.  Draw strength from His faithfulness and go and possess your promise.

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The Greatest Desire

 

“And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.” Mark 14:36

When the will of God clashes with the will of man, which way will you go?

Jesus knew very well about facing this tough choice.  Yes, He was the Son of God with a heavenly origin, but He was also one hundred percent human and knew what it was like to experience and feel everything we feel (Matthew 1:22-23; Galatians 4:4; Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 4:15).

That day, in the Garden of Gethsemane, the prayer of His mouth was for another way.  “Take away this cup from me” were the words spoken when the heaviness and reality of all that was about to transpire weighed upon Him.  During the distressing prayer, His sweat trickled down like great drops of blood (Luke 22:44), so real was this battle.

Though His mouth prayed for another way, the heart of Jesus was settled that above all else, God’s will be paramount.  What the Father wanted from His life, from this moment, was the only choice to make.  With that, His greatest desire was spoken, “Nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.”

Taking everything into account in our lives, how many times do we face the choice to do or not to do the will of God?  Does what He wants for our lives become our greatest desire as it did for Christ?  Or are we insistent on satisfying our own way and pleasing ourselves?

The heart of Jesus was to do the will of the Father, always (John 4:34, 6:38).

Where are our hearts leading us today?

May we follow our Savior’s footsteps and order our lives with the same resolve: “Nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.”

“For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Colossians 1:9-10).

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“Wisdom is Better!”

“Wisdom is better,” is what I read twice during my devotional reading.  In Ecclesiastes 9:16, 18.  In verse 16 it states that “wisdom is better than strength” and in verse 18 it states that “wisdom is better than weapons of war.”  This had me thinking, how often do we resort to strength and weapons before choosing wisdom to fight the struggles in life?

Strength and weapons are carnal devices that depend on fleshly know-how and might.  Often these are the first resources that man runs to in times of difficulty and adversity.  Wisdom is dependent upon God.  “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction,” Proverbs 1:7.

Would it not be more prudent in the days of trials to follow the path of wisdom whose author is God?  Many of life’s mistakes are made from rash human impulses instead of the patient endurance of wisdom that God provides.  Christians especially are admonished to “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths,” Proverbs 3:5-6.

“Wisdom is better!”  James 1:5 gives us the key to finding this wisdom to help with life’s choices.  He said, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be give him.”  God will freely supply for the heart that seeks wisdom rather than the harried messes of one’s own way.

Today, choose wisdom.  It’s always the better option.

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My Soul Shall Be Joyful in My God! | Bible Devotional

“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.” Isaiah 61:10

The work of the cross in my life is a reason for joy!  The salvation that flowed from Calvary’s hill is something to get excited about.  A great exchange has taken place.  My filthy garments have been discarded, thrown to the ground, and I am now adorned with a “robe of righteousness.”  The sinner I used to be now stands as a “bride adorneth herself with her jewels.”

Salvation is beautiful.  Salvation looks good on you, my Friends.  He has done a great work in our lives.  His redemption has made us new.  No longer are we what we used to be.  No longer do we carry the weight of the past.  The cross has performed for us what we never could.

In that, we are joyful!  Comfort has come “To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified” (Isaiah 61:3).

Yes, our souls have many reasons to be very joyful in what God has done for us.  We have been bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20; 1 Peter 1:18-19).  We have been brought in as children of God (John 1:12; Romans 8:15).  We have been cleaned up and made beautiful from the inside out (2 Corinthians 4:16).  And we are now called by His name (Jeremiah 15:6).

Yes, my soul is joyful.  Yes, my soul rejoices in my God!  “Therefore the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away” (Isaiah 51:11).

Everything on this earth that has tried to dull your joy will be stripped away when “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Revelation 21:4).

With these promises in my heart, my soul SHALL BE joyful in my GOD!

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What Are We Giving God?

“Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is it that the Lord spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified. And Aaron held his peace.” Leviticus 10:3

The over-zealous Nadab and Abihu approached God in a way that was not pleasing to Him. Offering “strange fire” before the Lord, and not regarding the holiness of God, fire went out from God, and they perished (Leviticus 10:1,2).

As I pondered this scenario, I wondered how careful the modern-day Christian is in their approach of God. Do we take Him or treat Him as seriously as we should?

I believe this is a question we all must ask ourselves, both individually and corporately as the body of Christ. Dare I say in some cases, I see an almost flippant attitude in our congregations and service when we gather to worship.

Aaron and his sons were in the process of being consecrated for the services and worship of God. This was not to be taken lightly. When they came before God, their coming was to be done in a way that honors Him.

Are we careful in glorifying God in our worship?

Or are we offering Him whatever we feel is right?

God’s holiness demands that we regard Him as holy. The Bible tells us, “Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable” (Psalm 145:3). His “unsearchable: greatness deserves more.

In a previous post found here, I wrote:

“The Bible commands us, “Exalt ye the Lord our God, and worship at his footstool; for he is holy” (Psalm 99:5). Throughout the Bible, God’s holiness is prevalent. When His holiness was disregarded in exchange for a bite of fruit, sin entered in, separation occurred, and mankind lost his place in the sacred garden paradise (Genesis 3). When God’s holiness was substituted, the people fell into idolatry with a golden calf, people died, names were blotted out of God’s book, sins would be punished, a plague would follow, and God sent an Angel to guide them for He said, “I will not go up in the midst of thee; for thou art a stiffnecked people: lest I consume thee in the way,” (Exodus 33:3; Exodus 32:1-33:3). Throughout the times of the judges, prophets, all biblical history, and even today, every time the holiness of God has been forsaken, tragedy strikes, and people reap the consequences of their decisions. 

God does have a standard, and holiness is not only who He is, but it is His standard by which all else is measured.”

Whether it be in the sacred place of a sanctuary or the deepest recesses of our hearts, when we approach God, may we do so with respect and honor to the holiness that He is.

We ask so much of God, but what are we giving?

“For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” Matthew 6:13

Father God, I want to give You more.  Forgive me, for I have not always approached You in a way that was honoring to Your holy name.  At times, I have been lazy.  At times, I have not taken it as seriously as I should.  It is You I truly want to honor in all areas of my life.  Help me to live this life and to come before You in a way that is pleasing to You, and in a way that is glorifying to You. 

Help my heart and my mind to focus and truly reverence the Holy God of Heaven.  I want to bless Your name.  Not just with my mouth, but with my life.  Thank You for the grace and mercy you have shown me this day.  In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray, AMEN. 

Related Articles:

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Heaven in My Heart

As I read over the page, speaking of the “two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God” found in Exodus 31:18, my fingers etched the outlining of the words, and a feeling of awe and wonder came over me at the reality of it all.

Moses held in his hands that which was written by the finger of our Holy God. To say it is amazing would be an inadequate attempt at best to describe the wonder of what that must have been like to experience. But it didn’t stop me from still wondering: “What was that like to hold those very tablets?”

As I kept reading and following his story, in my mind, I saw him carrying those tablets, engraved by God as he descended the mount (Exodus 32:16), and my heart was quickly reminded of the promise spoken in Jeremiah of the time when God Himself said, “I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people” (Jeremiah 31:33).

And I thought, as much as I would love to hold that piece of our Christian history physically in my hands, I now have in my heart, through the power and indwelling of His Holy Spirit, God’s testimony, His very Word in the innermost part of my being.

Yes, my eyes would have loved to see and behold those external declarations of His Testimony, but my soul is ever so grateful for the internal and eternal work God’s Word and saving grace has done deep inside of me. No wonder the psalmist wrote, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psalm 119:11).

It is in our hearts where we establish our faith and believe in the One who called us and loved us (Romans 10:10). The heart is where we hold our greatest treasures (Matthew 6:21). So, to have a piece of Him there in the recesses of my being; to have His Word, this piece of heaven living in me, I am still overtaken with awe and the wonder of it all.

As frail as humanity is and as short as we come from His glory (Romans 3:23), we are honored creatures to have the grace of this New Covenant go through the lineage of Israel and trickle-down upon us and flood our hearts when we receive Christ as our Savior.

In Mark, John the Baptist spoke, saying, “I indeed baptize you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost” (1:8). At the baptism of Jesus, John witnessed “the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him: And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Mark 1:10-11).

Jesus Christ is the one sent from heaven to dwell in our hearts. He is that Word made flesh (John 1:14). Through Him, the Father will send “the Holy Ghost. . . in my name,” Jesus said (John 14:26; see also VSS 16-17; Acts 1:5) to comfort us, to dwell in us, and change our lives forever.

There is no better time than now to seek a whole heart transformation. Deep inside, we know we need Him. Nothing else will satisfy.

In the anguish of his sins, David cried out in desperation, saying, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10). A heart that is devoted to God, a heart renewed in Him; a heart that cradles and nurtures His Word and has His Spirit within them, a heart who has the Son – they are the ones who “shall be my people” and He will be their “God” (Jeremiah 31:33).  

It may not be a piece of history in my hands, but I’ll take heaven in my heart any day.

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Children: Rewards Packed with Potential

“And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children” (Isaiah 54:13), and “Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward” (Psalm 127:3) are just some of my favorite Bible verses when dealing with the subject of children. Those precious treasures God has blessed us with are a reward.

Children have always had a special place in the heart of God. 

Jesus showed the value in the lives of these innocent ones by teaching the adults that unless they put on childlike faith, unless they “Be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3).  

Days of parenting may not always be sitting by and watching children play in the best of their innocence and zest for life. Guiding young hearts may not always work out like the after-school specials or shows we see on tv. Some days of parenting can be difficult and frustrating, but may those days not take the focus from the heart of the child. Children are a beautiful blessing, and each one comes packed with potential.

From a lesson I previously published found here, I wrote:

“Youths especially come packed with potential. For example, Samuel was dedicated to God as an incredibly young child (1 Sam. 1:21-28) and became a righteous judge of God’s people. Josiah became king at the tender age of 8 (2 Chr. 34:1), and “in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet young, he began to seek after the God of David his father: and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem from the high places, and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images,” (2 Chr. 34:3) and eventually went on to make great reformations for God’s people in turning them back to true worship (2 Chr. 34-35) which all started while he was still young. Timothy learned from his grandmother and mother about true faith and helped the apostle Paul during his missionary journeys and in the establishing of new churches (2 Tim. 1:5). And let us not forget our Lord Jesus Christ who was found at the age of 12 in the temple with the “doctors” amazing all who saw Him and heard “his understanding and answers” (Luke 2:41-52).” 

May you find inspiration in the Word of God as He reminds us of the blessings of children. They are rewards packed with potential.  

More inspiration:

  • “But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:14
  • “Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 18:10). 
  • “Children’s children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers” (Proverbs 17:6). 
  • “Praise ye the Lord. Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in his commandments.  His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed” (psalm 112:1-2). 

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“Our lives must be infused with power from on High!”

Our lives must be infused with power from on High – Holy Ghost power! “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.” Zechariah 4:6

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