June 26, 2017

Breath Of Heaven

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I have traveled many moonless nights
Cold and weary with a babe inside
And I wonder what I’ve done
Holy Father, You have come
And chosen me now to carry Your Son

I am waiting in a silent prayer
I am frightened by the load I bear
In a world as cold as stone
Must I walk this path alone
Be with me now, be with me now

Breath of heaven
Hold me together
Be forever near me
Breath of heaven

Breath of heaven
Lighten my darkness
Pour over me Your holiness
For You are holy
Breath of heaven

Do you wonder as you watch my face
If a wiser one should have had my place
But I offer all I am
For the mercy of Your plan
Help me be strong
Help me be…Help me

Sara Groves
written by Chris Eaton and Amy Grant

* ♥ ~ ✝ ~ ★ *
This song—a depiction of Mary’s heart as she prepares to give birth to God’s Son—is such a simple prayer, too… Can’t you just imagine Mary singing it under her own breath?  No one really could ever fully understand Mary’s heart as she gives birth to her Son, Who is her Savior, her Redeemer, Emmanuel.  Perhaps in a small way (especially those who have also labored and delivered a baby) we can empathize a bit with her feelings.  But I do believe we can (we DO!) at times also sing/plead this same prayer.  How about you…been there?  Me, too.

Breath of heaven, hold me together!
Be forever near me, Breath of heaven!
Breath of heaven, 
lighten my darkness
Pour over me Your holiness…for You are holy!

This is a prayer I know He will answer…the Scriptures assure us that it is so.

For in Him all things were created…
all things have been created through Him and for Him.
He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
Colossians 1:16 and 17

O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
You understand my thought from afar.
You scrutinize my path and my lying down,
And are intimately acquainted with all my ways.
Even before there is a word on my tongue,
Behold, O Lord, You know it all.
You have enclosed me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is too high, I cannot attain to it.
Psalms 139:1-6

You know me inside and out, You hold me together
Psalm 41:12

Don’t the lyrics of this chorus just capture so much what we feel—our total dependence on the Lord for everything we need.  And because Emmanuel has come, our Help is here.

Just like Mary, we also recognize our great need for hope to cling to.  She grew up knowing and believing the promises made throughout the Old Testament of a Redeemer, a Savior.  She clung to the words spoken by the Angel Gabriel telling her of the greatness of this baby she was carrying.

For with God nothing [is or ever] shall be impossible.
Luke 1:37

We also know and believe this same Truth as well as the promises that God has made to us…not only of our Lord’s Coming but also of His second Coming!

Mary, I am sure, had moments of fear and worry and despair, but she had been given a promise and she knew that holding on to that promise was ultimately not only all she had but all she needed.  We, too, should follow Mary’s example.  For nothing shall be impossible with God!  We, too, have the hope of being blessed by God’s goodness and faithfulness and grace to cling to!

Let us seize and hold tightly the confession of our hope without wavering,
for He who promised is reliable and trustworthy and faithful [to His Word]…
Hebrews 10:23

Knowing of the great love that God has for mankind (for you…and for me!), we have faith and hope and trust in His ability to ‘hold us together’ and to ‘be forever near me’.  I am praying and asking God to encourage you, my friend, and remind you that He loves you.

But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life,
nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come,
nor powers, 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.
Romans 8:37-39

What Would You Have Given Him?

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They entered the house and saw the child with His mother, Mary,
and they bowed down and worshipped Him.
Then they opened their treasure chests
and gave Him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
Matthew 2:11

In manger scenes, either on coffeetables or mantles, there is Mary and Joseph, the baby Jesus, a few animals, the shepherds, and the wise men.  As we know, though, Jesus was around one or two when the wise men found Him.  Herod was king then and he had called a meeting with his religious leaders.  He wanted to know where Jesus was to be born.  “In Bethlehem of Judea” they told him.  “For it is written by the prophet: for from you shall come a Ruler…Who will shepherd My people.”  Herod was threatened.  He told them to go and search for the child, and come back and tell him so he could worship Him.

And you, O Bethlehem in the land of Judah,
are not least among the ruling cities of Judah,
for a ruler will come from you
who will be the shepherd for my people Israel.
Matthew 2:6

The wise men went on their way, guided by a star in the east, and they were filled with joy.  The wise men brought gifts and worshipped Jesus for Who He was.  These gifts were extremely valuable and each one stood for something:

  • Gold – a gift of royalty
  • Frankincense – a gift for deity
  • Myrrh – a spice used to anoint a body for burial

The wise men were so excited to meet the Christ-child that they were willing to part with these gifts, out of love and respect and just joy.   They were honoring Jesus for Who He is and they worshipped Him because He was and is perfect.

There is much more to this story and I encourage you to finish reading the whole story of Herod and the wise men. (Read the whole account here.)  But for now, let’s search our own hearts.

What would you have been willing to give Him?

What is most precious to you and would you have  been willing to lay it at the foot of the manger on that cold night in Bethlehem? I would like to think that I would. And what about today?

Sometimes the things that we hold onto aren’t really so precious yet we have a hard time giving them to Jesus.  Sometimes our own ideas of how our life should go are hard to give over to God, and to wholly trust Him with it.  Even though we know in our heart of hearts it is the best thing for us and that God is our Sustainer and He does know what is best for us.  Yet we hold onto it.  Some days we lay them at His feet, only to pick them up not too long after.  We may not have a star to follow like they did, but we have the Spirit of God guiding us and directing us.  We owe Him so much…we can never ever repay the debt.  But on that night, so long ago, the wise men didn’t have a debt to pay. They just wanted to give all they had to the Baby Jesus.

   *    ♥  ~  ✝  ~  ★    *

Oh, friends, we too have so much to give Him!  It may not be gold, frankincense, and myrrh but we have our praise and we can honor Him with our lives every day.  Do you know this Jesus?  I really want you to.  He is so in love with you already, even if you aren’t yet.  But you will be once you get to know Him.  Why not start today?

Pray this simple prayer with me:

Dear Lord, I know I am a sinner and I need a Savior. I need forgiveness for my sins. I believe that Jesus is Your Son, Who was born and lived here on earth and died to save me from my sin. He rose again and is preparing a place for me.  I ask You to come into my heart and be Lord of my life.  Guide and direct me.  In Jesus’ Name, amen.

Strange Way To Save The World

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I’m sure he must have been surprised
At where this road had taken him
‘Cause never in a million lives
Would he have dreamed of Bethlehem
And standing at the manger
He saw with his own eyes
The message from the angel
Come to life, and Joseph said

Why me, I’m just a simple man of trade
Why Him, with all the rulers of the world
Why here, inside this stable filled with hay
Why her, she’s just an ordinary girl
Now I’m not one to second guess
What angels have to say
This is such a strange way to save the world

To think of how it could have been
If Jesus had come as He deserved
There would have been no Bethlehem
No lowly shepherds at His birth
But Joseph knew the reason
Love had to reach so far
And as he held the Savior in his arms
He must have thought

Why me, I’m just a simple man of trade
Why You, with all the rulers of the world
Why here, inside this stable filled with hay
Why her, she’s just an ordinary girl
Now I’m not one to second guess
What angels have to say
This is such a strange way to save the world

 Songwriters:  David Clarke, Mark Harris, Don Koche ~ Performed by 4Him

*    ♥  ~  ✝  ~  ★    *

He was just a young man, just  a carpenter.  A perfect example of the ordinary becoming extraordinary!  He coulfn’t believe his ears, and how in the world woulf he ever tell his family? Yes, they were engaged to be married and oh, he loved her with all his heart.  But a baby?  He knew it couldn’t  be his.  Then, in a dream, an angel came to him and explained everything. Yes…he was convinced, but sure that no one else would be. Why me, he said…I’m no one special.

The Savior, God’s Son, could have come to earth any way He wanted.  He could have come with trumpets or on a chariot or already a grown man or never having to go through anything, really.  But He didn’t.  He chose to come as small as He could—a baby born to common people, in a stable, in a manger.  He was wrapped in strips of cloth, instead of the latest trend in the expensive boutiques.  He came for one purpose alone…and that was (and is) to save us.

She was just a teenage girl engaged to a carpenter.  She was planning a wedding, getting ready to move in with her fiancé’s family, as tradition would tell her to do.  And then, on an ordinary night, an Angel of the Lord appeared to her and told her,

“Don’t be afraid, Mary…for you have found favor with God.
You will conceive and give birth to Son, and you will name Him Jesus.
He will be very great and will be called the Son of The Most High.
The Lord God will give Him the throne of His ancestor David,
And He will reign over Israel forever, His Kingdom will never end.”
Mary asked the angel,”But how can this happen? I am a virgin.”
The angel replied,”The Holy Spirit will come upon you
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
So the baby to be born will be holy and He will be called the Son of God.”
Luke 1:30-35

So they, Mary and Joseph, traveled to Bethlehem and found room in a stable.  And there the Christ-child was born.  And now we celebrate His birth every Christmas.  His coming to earth to save the world ultimately saved us from ourselves.  We will live forever, all because of that night in Bethlehem.

And, yes, it WAS a strange and
wonderful, awesome, amazing, loving way to save the world.

*    ♥  ~  ✝  ~  ★    *

Let us pray: Dear God, You are amazing and awesome and loving.  You give and give…and You gave the greatest gift of all, Your Son.  He came as a baby, a sweet baby boy, grew to be a man and the ultimate Sacrifice for us.  Thank You for all You have done for us; for loving us so much and giving so much grace that we don’t deserve.  The way You saved the world was perfect.  In His name we pray, amen.

Don’t Leave Him In The Manger

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The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!
And you will recognize Him by this sign:
You will find a baby wrapped snuggly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.
Luke 2:11

Our first vision of Jesus is a baby lying in a manger, with shepherds and animals and Mary and Joseph all gazing at this beautiful baby.  It’s the Christmas scene, a beautiful one that we see on greeting cards and church programs.  But don’t leave Him in the manger.

Tiny, sweet, delicate and small, this helpless baby grew and lived an amazing life…
witnessed to many,
fed the five thousand,
healed the sick,
gave sight to the blind,
gave life to the dead,
and ultimately carried His own Cross and died for us.
Then He rose again after three days,
ascended into Heaven,
leaving us the gift of the Holy Spirit,
and He will come back to earth as King of Kings.

Out of that manger came a Savior Who came to earth to become a man, to walk the streets as we do, and to experience life before us…so that we could live by His example.  He was despised and rejected and hated by many.  And He was followed by crowds of people, longing to be healed.  He was loved by His Father, yet  sacrificed for us, God’s children.

Do you ever wonder what kind of follower you would’ve been?  Would you have believed that HE was who He said He was?  Would you have had the faith to touch His garment knowing you would be healed?  What is so amazing is that even today, your faith can move mountains.  Your faith in Jesus can still heal sickness.  Your faith in Him can bring plenty of provision to your family and your belief inHim can save your life.

Yes, He came as a baby and we still picture Him in the stable in the manger on that first Christmas night with the bright star leading the shepherds to Him.  But we can’t leave Him in the manger. We must bring Him into our lives, into our hearts and let Him lead us and guide us into being all that God has created us to be.  There is so much good that He wants for us, if only we will have the faith and the courage and endurance to walk with Him through the hard and sometimes the impossible.  And without Him, life is impossible.

He is for you and He is waiting with His nail pierced hands open to accept you into His Kingdom.

Do you want Him to be Lord of your life?

I pray, today, that you ask Jesus to come into your heart and to be Lord of your life.  If you made this decision today, I ask you to pray this prayer.

Dear God, I know that I am a sinner and I need forgiveness.  I believe that Jesus is Your Son and He came to earth as a baby and grew to be Son of Man.  He sacrificed His life on the cross for our sins so that we can live a life of freedom.  I want this for my life.  Walk with me now. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

*   ♥  ~  ✝  ~  ★    *

But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our sins;
the punishment that brought us peace was on Him,
and by His wounds we are healed.
Isaiah 53:5 NIV

This Is Christmas

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Do you find it hard to sleep tonight
Resting by the Christmas lights
Could there be something you forgot

Beyond the bows and mistletoe
The tree with presents wrapped below
There’s more to this than you had ever thought
Have we lost the reason that we celebrate each year

What is Christmas
If there never was a Savior wrapped in a manger
What is Christmas without Christ

Remember how the story goes
God’s Gift was wrapped in swaddling clothes
Beneath the star, one great and holy night

The shepherds heard the angels sing
The wise man brought an offering
Peace on earth began in Bethlehem
Have we lost the reason that we celebrate each year

What is Christmas
If there never was a Savior wrapped in a manger
If the angels never sang
Glory to the newborn King
What is Christmas without Christ

There’d be no Gloria in excelsis deo
Gloria in excelsis deo

What is Christmas
(Joy to the world)
If there never was a Savior wrapped in a manger
(Joy to the world)
What is Christmas without Christ

This is Christmas
It’s all about the Savior wrapped in a manger
(Joy to the world)
This is Christmas because of Jesus Christ

(Gloria)
This is Christmas
(In excelsis deo)
Because of Christ
(In excelsis deo)
Because of Christ

written by Jon Micah Sumrall and Dave Lubben ~ performed by Kutless

*   ♥  ~  ✝  ~  ★    *

‘mas,’ …that’s what Christmas is without CHRIST.

In reality, I would say ‘mess,’ really.  Yes, there are gorgeous trees…decorated in colorful ornaments…and gifts, too.  Cookies and treats would still be made,and turkey and trimmings still would be served.  But what would it all mean?  And when all was taken down and put back into boxes, and the food all stored away and life went back to the way it was, how empty it would be.  Of course you would still have the presents and such, but that thrill only lasts for a short while.  We need THE Gift that fulfills forever….

“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you, He is Christ the Lord.
This will be a sign unto you: you will find the 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.”
Luke 2:11-14

THE Gift.  He came the same way that you and I did.  His precious mom and dad beamed with pride and joy.  I’m sure they held Him and sang to Him and kissed His sweet head.  They didn’t need anything else that night.  And today…we don’t either.  As we decorate our houses and light the tree, we remember the reason for it all—Jesus. He came wrapped in a manger, for you and I.  And He became a man and experienced all that we have.

Let us not forget.  For without Christ, there really wouldn’t be any glory.  There wouldn’t be any joy to the world or angels singing for all to hear.  But because He is the Savior, we will still be filled with Him, even when Christmas is over. Even when we take it all down, we look up to Him Who loves us and will come back for us to live with Him forever.  Isn’t that really the only gift we ever need?

And, thanks to God the Father, there will never be a Christmas without Jesus.  It is all about a Savior, it is all about Him wrapped in a manger, and it always will be!

*   ♥  ~  ✝  ~  ★    *

Let us pray: Oh Heavenly Father, You are so amazing and awesome and always giving. You love and love and give grace and forgiveness for free.  You have so much patience with us, I am amazed.  Lord, thank You for sending the ultimate Gift, wrapped in swaddling clothes, placed in the manger to save us from certain death.  That is the whole reason we celebrate Christmas. I pray for those who have moved away from You.  May they be reminded this season about the Baby that came to save the world. We can never thank You enough so we pray to live our thanks to You by spreading hope to this hurting world and by blessing because we have been blessed!  We pray all these things in Jesus’ name, amen!

Once Again

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Jesus Christ, I think upon Your sacrifice
You became nothing
Poured out to death
Many times, I’ve wondered at Your Gift of life
I’m in that place once again
I’m in that place once again

And once again I look upon the Cross where You died
I’m humbled by Your mercy and I’m broken inside
Once again I thank You
Once again I pour out my life

Now You are exalted to the highest place
King of the Heavens, where one day I’ll bow
But for now, I’ll marvel at Your saving grace
I’m full of praise once again
Oh, I’m full of praise once again

Thank You for the Cross
Thank You for the Cross
Thank You for the Cross, my friend

Singer/Songwriter ~ Matt Redman

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~   ♥   ~   *  

How can we say Thank You for the ultimate sacrifice of Your life?  I know it’s a season to ponder on Your birth, and with that glorious occasion comes the inevitable…the whole reason You came…the Cross.  You made a way for us to go straight to Your Father in prayer  and the veil was torn.  And now God gives grace instead of punishment.  There is mercy and forgiveness when we totally surrender and confess our sins and shortcomings.

At the cross, You were covered in every sin that we would ever commit.  You had jealousy yet You were never jealous.  You had gossip and the spirit of negativity, and yet You never committed either.  And the list goes on.  So this Thanksgiving, I pray that we really give gratitude to the One Who deserves so much more.  And may our lives be emptied of ourselves, so that we can be filled with You.

As the song says, ‘You are exalted’ on high, and You wait in Heaven for that day.  The day that You come here, and the trumpet sounds, and all who have breath bow and proclaim that You are Lord!  And You are worthy of our praise, every day!

Here are some amazing praise verses in His Word.  I encourage you to read and pray these back to Him. Write these down and place them all over and this Thanksgiving season, give Him thanks.

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Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever.
Psalm 136:1

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
1 Peter 1:3

Now, our God, we give thanks and praise Your glorious name.
1 Chronicles 29:13

I will praise You forever for what You have done;
in Your name I will hope, for Your name is good.
I will praise You in the presence of Your saints.
Psalm 52:9

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~   ♥   ~   *

Dear Heavenly Father,

I want to thank You for Your goodness and grace and mercy.  They are never-ending. Your gifts to us are so lovely and amazing and so full of love.  This time of year, we are reminded of the greatest gift of all—You let Your Son come here to earth, in the form of a baby, to live among us and feel pain like us.  He went before us and taught us how to live.  And as predicted in Your Word, He died on the Cross, so that we could live forever free.  Thank You.  IN Jesus’ name, amen.

Oh Come to My Heart, Lord Jesus

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

Oh, come to my heart, Lord Jesus!
There is room in my heart for Thee;
Oh, come to my heart, Lord Jesus, come,
There is room in my heart for Thee.

Heaven’s arches rang when the angels sang,
Proclaiming Thy royal degree;
But of lowly birth cam’st Thou, Lord, on earth,
And in great humility:

The foxes found rest, and the birds had their nest
In the shade of the forest tree;
But Thy couch was the sod, O Thou Son of God,
In the deserts of Galilee:

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:

Oh, come to my heart, Lord Jesus!
Thy cross is my only plea;
Oh, come to my heart, Lord Jesus, come,
Thy cross is my only plea.

When heaven’s arches shall ring, and her choirsshall sing
At Thy coming to victory,
Let Thy voice call me up, saying, “Yet there is room,
There is room at My side for thee!”

And my heart shall rejoice, Lord Jesus!
When Thou comest and callest for me;
And my heart shall rejoice, Lord Jesus!
When Thou comest and callest for me. 


Oh, Come to My Heart, Lord Jesus ~ Lyrics by Emily Eliott; Score by Timothy Matthews

* * * * *

Oh the memories this song brings to mind;  really, all my childhood Christmases are wrapped up into it. Every Christmas, our church put on a Christmas musical called “Carols by Candlelight” and my sweet precious daddy sang this song and my sweet little sister sang in the children’s chorus behind him. My sweet precious mom and I sat side-by-side in the pew, along with my dad’s parents.  We were all dressed up in our Christmas best and I remember how much I loved sitting right beside my mom. I remember how I loved holding her hand and how safe I felt. How she knew my every need before I asked, and how she knew I would want that piece of gum she had in her purse. Oh, how she loved me and how she took such good care of me. Isn’t that a picture of how our Father in Heaven loves us? And takes care of our every need before we even realize we need it?

The hymn was sung a little differently than the lyrics above. It started like this:

“Welcome, we’ve gathered today to praise the Christ of Christmas.
Let’s invite Him in today!” And then these beautiful words:
“Lord, You left Your throne and Your kingly crown,
when You came to this earth that day.
But in Bethlehem’s home there was found no room for your Holy Nativity.
Oh! Come to my heart, Lord Jesus!  There is room in my heart for You.”

Our God, our Creator sent His only Son to this earth as a baby. He entrusted Him to a carpenter and his wife, Mary. He came into this world in a filthy stable where He was and is still most comfortable—among the dirty. He was laid in a manger, made of wood, and He was to be the Savior. He would later die on a cross, made of wood, so that we, the dirty, could be clean. Do you realize what a miracle this was?

“You came, Oh Lord, with the Living Word that should set Your people free! But with mocking scorn, and a crown of thorns, they sent You to Calvary. Oh come to my heart, Lord Jesus, Your Cross is my only plea. Oh, come to my heart, Lord Jesus. “ And the final verse, that’s full of hope, send chills and brings a smile I can’t contain. “Let Thy voice call me up saying ‘Yes there is room,there is room at My side for you!’” Isn’t that what we long to hear one day? I know I’m living for that day!

So today, if you haven’t given your life to Him or made room in your heart for your Savior, He is waiting. All you have to do is ask. I can’t imagine a better birthday gift for Jesus than to have another of His children ask Him to be in their heart. Can you? Doesn’t matter how dirty you are or how you live or where you live, He meets you where you are and He can’t wait to walk with you through this life. Once He comes into your heart, you will never be the same and He will never leave you or forsake you!

Where are you this Christmas? He knows and He cares and He wants to sit beside you and hold your hand and make you feel safe. Will you ask Him to come into your heart today?

* * * * * 

Let us pray: Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You so much for the gift of Your Son! He came to earth and paid the ultimate price so that we don’t have to. You know where we are right now and You meet us and You love us! Help us to remember and to celebrate You this season and to not get tangled up in the material aspect of it. Help us to keep You in the center of Christmas and the center of our lives. We love You and praise You. Give those who don’t know You the courage to try life with You. Give us Your Holy Spirit to guide and direct us until that awesome day when face-to-face we will see You!  In Your Son’s name we pray. Amen.

Hope In Christmas

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Each week during the season of Advent  our blogs will focus on a central theme associated with the coming of Christ—His Advent.  This week’s theme is HOPE.
Christians throughout the world celebrate Advent. Some light candles or sing songs; some give gifts or  hang wreaths.  All of these are simple joyous ways of extending the celebration of Jesus’s coming beyond a mere 24 hours on December 25. Our prayer is that these devotionals throughout this season of Advent would help you to celebrate His first Coming and anticipate with joy His second Coming.

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But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:31

Hope is the feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. Over 2,000 years ago, Jews were hoping for the arrival of their Savior—the Messiah—Jesus Christ. Today, we have the same hope of Jesus’ return after His Resurrection. We, as Christians, are very expectant of His return. When Christ does return, we will have eternal life if we have accepted Him into our hearts. Today, instead of anticipating the birth of Christ, we are now anticipating His return.

During Christmas, hope is more abundant than at any other time of the year. Kids hope for the perfect gift from Santa. Adults hope for a better New Year or for a way to provide a nice Christmas for their families. Sick people hope for a cure for their ailments. Hope springs eternal. Everyone is hoping for something.

However, during the holidays, we should be hoping—not for a birth, but for a return—Christ’s return. Yes, we celebrate His birth during this season, and we celebrate the Resurrection during the Easter season. However, instead of being reminded about Jesus’ birth, we should be reminded that His birth signaled the hope for a reconciliation with God. His birth brought us the hope for an eternal life spent with God because God already knew that Jesus would die on the Cross for our sins. We should hope for the gift of salvation, not only for ourselves, but for those who have not yet received that gift to receive it. As Christians we need to be spreading the hope of Christ’s return.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son
so that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
John 3:16

John 3:16 gives hope to us that we will have eternal life in Heaven at the end of time if we believe in Jesus Christ. We have to have hope and faith that Jesus will return soon. This verse itself gives us hope that as believers we will spend eternity with God. This is the greatest gift that has ever and will ever be given.  We only have to accept the gift.

* * * * *

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Son to us so that we may be reconciled with You. We cannot do it ourselves. We are not perfect nor will ever be. Your Son is perfect, and He brings hope to all those that believe in Him.  We pray in His Name.  Amen.

How Suddenly a Baby Cried

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“How suddenly a baby cried and all forever changed.
Through history soul by soul have come to find His healing grace.
He filled my troubled heart with peace, with hope of endless worth.
My voice will join the song of praise that tells Messiah’s birth.”

How Suddenly a Baby Cried ~ Keith and Kristyn Getty

A baby’s first cry gets the attention of everyone around, yes? At the very moment of birth, all in attendance pause to hear a baby’s first cry—expectant parents, other relatives and loved ones, the nurses, doctors, and other caregivers—and then sigh with joy, with relief and with thankfulness at that wonderful sound! When the baby Jesus was born, His cry, too, brought great joy to his parents, Joseph and Mary. Think of the setting:

And while they were there, the time came for her delivery,
And she gave birth to her Son, her Firstborn;
and she wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger,
because there was no room or place for them in the inn.
Luke 2:6 and 7

Joseph and Mary had traveled many, many miles to come to Bethlehem to register in the census. Upon their arrival, there was nowhere for them to stay but in a stable…and this is where Mary birthed her firstborn, Jesus, God’s Son. Not the best surroundings! So I would think baby Jesus’ first cry meant oh-so-very much to them!

But, remember, both Joseph and Mary were fully aware of just Who this tiny Baby was! Both had been told of the significance of this Baby’s life by angels. (Read the records here: Luke 1:26-38;  Matthew 1:18-25). They each had contemplated, wouldn’t you think, for the entire duration of Mary’s pregnancy the magnitude and the awesome, eternal implications of just Who their Son would be! Think for a moment…place yourself in their sandals…when the baby was birthed and took His first breath and released a cry, can you only imagine the praises that must have welled up out of their hearts? Can you imagine the look they must have exchanged as they realized that the promises that the angel had made to each of them came forth into fruition? That initial cry of baby Jesus truly changed the world! Perhaps Mary remembered the words she spoke when she was visiting her cousin Elizabeth:

Oh, how my soul praises the Lord.
How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!
…because the Mighty One has done great things for me, and His name is holy.
His mercy is from generation to generation on those who fear Him.
Luke 1: 46-47 and 49-50

And so we do also exclaim and praise! Even now, don’t we love to sing these beautiful carols and anthems and songs that tell of Jesus’ coming and His birth. We are reminded of all that first little cry meant as it sounded out that the Savior was born! He had come…just as promised throughout the ages!

As the words of this beautiful song say,
“How suddenly a baby cried and all forever changed.
Through history soul by soul have come to find His healing grace.
He filled my troubled heart with peace, with hope of endless worth.
My voice will join the song of praise that tells Messiah’s birth.”

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

May your voice rise up in praise and thankfulness to your heavenly Father!  Because of His great love for you, He sent His Son to redeem and save you; to rescue you and make available to you a relationship with Him for all eternity.  Never—don’t ever—doubt His love!

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:38 and 39

God bless you!    ♥    Merry Christmas!