Monday, December 24, 2007

Blessed Christ Mass Wishes

I will update Tuesday-Thursday's verses later this week...

I want to apologize that I am a bit behind on my emails, we are on vacation and I had every intention of waking up yesterday morning and sending out my belated Friday verse, my Saturday thoughts and also a Sunday verse...however we woke up to no power due to a tree on the wires...I need to start cooking Christmas Eve dinner here shortly however I would like to share my thoughts on what today and tomorrow and this whole Christmas celebration mean to me.  Please pardon me for I am sure this is going to get lengthy although I am kind of making up for lost days here!  >WINK<

Luke 2:1-20 "In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.  (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.)  And everyone went to his own town to register.  So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.  He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.  While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.   And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.  An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.  This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."  Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."  When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."  So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.  When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.  But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.  The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told."

I wanted you to read the whole Christmas, if you have skimmed over the familiar words to get to this part please take an extra minute or two now to slowly read the story and open your heart to let every word settle in there.  Did you read it?  Imagine this dark world where every mistake meant burnt offerings and the blood of animals sacrificed in order to obtain forgiveness, hundreds of years of living with sin meaning certain death and then the Light arrives!  The Savious is born, just as Isaiah had prophesied - He came and became man to save us all!  Jesus is born and we no longer live in fear, darkness and desolation...we have hope, faith and the promise of eternal life in paradise!  Christmas is not just a time of presents and "what's in it for me", it is a time of giving because God has given us the perfect present and in our thankfulness and praise we should want to give to others as we reflect His love.  Christmas is not just about stuffing ourselves with good food and great desserts, it is about celebrating the most important birthday in the history of time!  As Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart, I encourage you to ponder the true reason for the Christ-Mass celebrations and let them keep you in a praiseful and glorifying mindset today, tomorrow and all through the year!  Please join me in prayer:

Heavenly Father, 
We want to thank You for all You have given to us, life, love and salvation among millions of other blessings!  Lord, every day, but especially today and tomorrow, help us to keep alive within us the true spirit of Christmas.  Please guide our hearts to what is important and wonderful and awesome about this precious Christmas celebration...You!  God we truly want to give all glory to You as we remember that You sent Your Word to become flesh that we may join You in heaven when You call us home.  Father, we ask that You please grant healing and comfort to all those in need but especially our sisters in Christ, Summer, Kayla, Ally & Sharon.  Thank You for all You have already granted them and please continue Your grace and glory in their lives.  God please grant our service men and women a very blessed and holy Christmas, fill them with Your love as they sacrifice to protect us.  Lord I also ask that You may please grant a special blessing of comfort, favor, peace and protection to all who may be reading these words that You have deemed to allow me to type.  I thank You greatly for each and every one of them and for the honor and blessing of You allowing me to serve You by sharing Your love with them.  We ask that all these things may be done according to Your perfect Will and in Jesus precious name.  Amen.

I wish you and your families all a very blessed and holy Christ-Mass!
Love through Christ,

Monday, December 17, 2007

Don't Give Up!

Galatians 6:9 "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."
God wants us to prosper, He wants to reward us for our faith...however, His timing is perfect while our timing tends to be in line with this "me" generation that wants it all right now.  In Joel Osteen's first book he tells us when we're "waiting" for our harvest to come in that we should not focus on our problems, needs and wants but rather those of someone else.  Not only does it get our minds off of what we're trying to wait for but also it sows more good seeds and hey you may just feel blessed for being able to bless another!
Dear God, Thank You for Your promises that we will reap what we sow.  Please help me to keep my mind off of my needs and wants and help me to focus instead on those around me so that I may stay strong and not grow weary in waiting for Your perfect timing in my life.  Amen.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Our True Light!

John 8:12 "When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, "I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.""
How uplifting are these words when we really let them set in!  Jesus is our light!  When we feel alone and in total darkness and are searching for "the light at the end of the tunnel" we need to look no further than our Bibles, and really also our hearts because Jesus is here with us and He is our light at the end of our tunnel!
Dear Lord, Thank You for being our light!  Thank You for offering us such a simple way out of the darkness.  Please help us remember this when we do feel the darkness pull at us to stop and whine or pity ourselves a while.  Please help us to turn to You so You may light up our lives.  Amen.

Friday, December 14, 2007

God's Always With Us!

Psalm 118:7 "The LORD is with me; he is my helper. I will look in triumph on my enemies."
Our enemies may be physical people, spiritual demons, illness, bills, and I could go on and on...  But God has promised us throughout the Bible that He is always with us and He will help us...if we let Him.  We have to get out of the way in a sense and just let Him work His good all the while trusting and believing that He is in charge and in control and will not forsake us, ever. 
Dear Father, Thank You for Your promises and for always keeping them!  Please help us to remember no matter how formidable our enemies may seem - they are no match for our Lord!  Amen.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Patience, It Gets Better!

Ecclesiastes 7:8 "The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride."
There are 3 books in the Bible which I really need to study more because I shy away from them for fear of misunderstanding or misinterpreting their messages, Revelation, Proverbs and Ecclesiastes.  So, I do not really know why God led me to this verse this morning but that I myself have continually been learning lessons of patience in my life...I'm still a work in progress!  I like that "the end of a matter is better than its beginning" because it is another one of those somewhat "hidden" hope messages that says to me, hang in there (have patience) the end of this will be worth it all!
Dear God, Thank You for Your lessons in life, through the Bible and through physical and spiritual experiences.  Please help me to continue developing patience as I strive to be more like You.  Amen.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

God's Way

Psalm 18:32 "It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect."
We know that God has a plan to prosper us, He wants to show us His way and His path for our lives is perfect.  Sure we may make mistakes that may alter His plan but He's got back up plans B through infinity so it is never too late to get right with Him so He can make your way perfect! 
Dear Lord, Thank You seems to be not enough to show our gratitude for all You have offered and given to us.  Please help us to truly let go of everything in our lives and trust in You completely that You will make our way perfect.  Amen.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Let's Follow Him!

 Mark 1:17-18 ""Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." At once they left their nets and followed Him."
Imagine dropping everything and following God.  How often do we see this in this modern world?  Pastors and priests, our church the priests are assigned to a church, they do not decide where - they just follow where the church tells them to go...although I am sure they bring most of their possessions with them.  I long for the kind of faith that will drop everything and follow if and when God chooses to call to me, "Come, follow."
Dear God, Thank You for the amazing examples in the Bible of Holy & Righteous people who loved You first and best.  Please help me to leave my old ways of thinking behind so that I may come and follow You wherever You may ask me to go.  Amen.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Brought Near By God

Ephesians 2:13 "But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ." 
Blood has such power attached to it in the Bible and I know I do not fully know and understand it but I do remember this:  in the Old Testament or under the Old Covenant people had to use the blood of animals in order to obtain God's promises...however, once Jesus came it became a whole new ball game!  His blood through His road to the cross and death thereupon replaced the Old Covenant with a new and better one, one that brought us all from far away to near. 
Dear Lord,  Thank You for Your Covenant promises!  Thank You for Your Lamb who takes away the sins of the world.  Please forgive me for all I have done that is unpleasing to You and help me to stay nearer Lord to You.  Amen.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

We Are Healed

I Peter 2:24 "24He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by His wounds you have been healed."
The weight of those last words hits me to my core: "by His wounds you have been healed."  Nothing in this world can offer that kind of promise, that kind of power, that kind of hope...  God is the last authority on healing because His Son has already bore all of our sins.  So, to reword a saying I have recently reread, don't tell God how big your hurting/illness is, tell your illness/injury how big your God is!
Dear God,  Thank You for the best gift ever...Your Son!  Thank You for saving and healing us through Him.  Please help us to always remember that You can, You will, and You are healing us each and every day.  Amen.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Our True Hope

I Peter 3:15 "But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,"
Some days it's hard to stay positive...but when you do get into a great mood and you're just beaming happiness from every part of you, do you give all the credit to God?  If someone asks you, "why are you so happy?  How can you be so hopeful?" do you tell them it is because God is the Lord of your life?  I know that I have not always had this answer ready to give however as I work on this in my life I encourage you to join me in this journey and prepare your answers!
Dear Lord,  Thank You for the hope I have in You!  Thank You that by faith I am able to not only be saved but to also have a victory in You every day I serve You here on this earth.  Please help me to keep my answer prepared that I may give You all glory and honor as the source of my hope and joy!  Amen.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

I have Been Chosen!

Colossians 3:12 "Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience."
Well I love verses that hold multiple meanings to me.  This verse reminds me that I am a chosen child of God...He wants me, He chose me!!  Then it also instructs me as to some of what's expected of me, to "clothe" myself with these virtues that all may see God through me.  God chooses us to be His children, He made us and chose to keep us and to do His will.  Let me ask you something...have you chosen Him too?
Dear God, I thank You from the bottom of my heart for having chose me to be one of Your people.  I thank You for the Bible and all it's promises, warnings and instructions by which I should live my life!  I wish to choose You Lord, to serve You in all I do.  Please help me to clothe myself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience each and every day.  Amen.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

God's Kept Promises

Proverbs 2:6-8 "For the LORD gives wisdom, and from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.  He holds victory in store for the upright, He is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for He guards the course of the just and protects the way of His faithful ones."
I just get so excited about the reassurances God gives us over and over again in His precious Word that He will protect us and grant us His favor when we are faithful to Him!  There are days when it's hard to remember that He is always with us and then I recall verses like this and I think, "Wow, I can't even imagine how much worse this could be if God weren't on my side!!"
Dear Lord, Thank You for Your Word as it is revealed to us in the Bible.  Thank You for Your promises to us and for always keeping Your promises!  When I am feeling low or having a bad day please help me to remember that You are with me, protecting me and guiding my path to Your purpose for my life.  Amen.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

A Life Of Purpose

Romans 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose."
I've maybe referenced to this before in the weekly messages however I believe I have always looked to this verse as remembering that all things will work for good for those who love God but then there's another part to it...we aren't just His people who love Him, God has called us according to His purpose.  We aren't just walking around at random here, He has plans for us, He has purpose for our lives and His purpose will work all things for our good.
Heavenly Father, I thank You for Your purpose for my life, I may never fully understand and I am learning through You that it's okay, it's why it's called faith!  Please help me to always remember that all I do has a called purpose according to Your plan and help me to therefore do everything to Your glory.  Amen. 

Monday, December 3, 2007

Monday's Verse: Too Much Trust?

I Corinthians 10:13 "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it."  Semi-Related Quote of the Day: "I know God says He will never give us more than we can handle, I just wish He didn't trust me so much!" -Mother Teresa
Ok, I LOVE Mother Teresa's quote here!  Haven't we all felt like the world is piling up on our shoulders?  I have had to recite this verse {paraphrased as I can recall} to get myself going on more than one occasion but I never thought of it this way, it's a funny, positive spin as opposed to just whining through a pity party!
Dear God, Thank You so much for all You give us, thank You for always providing us with what we need to survive all that life throws our way.  Please help me to remember that You are with me, You are keeping me from bearing more than I am capable because You are my strength, shield, my everything!  Amen.

Sunday's Verse: God Uses Isaiah To Share His Plan

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."
I wonder how Isaiah felt to have God allow him such an important role in the salvation of the world?  He was granted the knowledge of what would happen when Jesus was born, he was given the job of foretelling this so all the world would know when the true Savior had been born!  I never stop being amazed at how awesome our God truly is!
Lord, Thank You for sending Isaiah to tell Your wonderful plan to us, to share the signs and wonders that would be coming.  Please help me to serve You and You alone that I may be worthy of sharing Your love, even if only on a much smaller scale than Isaiah.  Amen.