October 19, 2017

God Has Come To Earth

phssChristmasgraphic2014

All praise to You, eternal Lord
Clothed in a garb of flesh and blood
You chose a manger for Your throne
While worlds on worlds are Yours alone

Once did the skies before You bow
A virgin’s arms cradle You now
And angels who in You rejoice
Now listen for Your infant voice
They sing

Glory in the highest
For there’s no other name by which we can be saved
Glory in the highest
Heaven and Earth forever will proclaim
God has come to Earth

O, little Child, You are our guest
That weary ones in You may rest
Forlorn and lowly is Your birth
That we may rise to Heaven from Earth
Singing

O come let us adore Him
O come let us adore Him
O come let us adore Him
O come let us adore Him

And there’s no other name by which we can be saved
And Heaven and Earth forever will proclaim

God has come to Earth
God has come to Earth
God has come to Earth

Aaron Shust

*   ♥  ~  ✝  ~  ★   *

And Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family line of David, to be registered along with Mary, who was engaged to him and was pregnant.  While they were there, the time came for her to give birth.  Then she gave birth to her firstborn Son, and she wrapped Him snugly in cloth and laid Him in a feeding trough—because there was no room for them at the lodging place.

Luke 2:4-7

His first throne was a manger.  And now, He is seated at the right hand of His Father.  This baby, born to Joseph and Mary, would change the world forever!

Jesus was born to walk the earth.  He went through things—hard things—so that we could see that all would be OK.  He taught us how to love and how to serve.  He showed us that it is awesome to be friends with sinners…because there are no perfect people, except Him. He performed miracle after miracle, just to prove Who His Father is, so that all would believe and live eternally with Him.

He brought dead to life and restored sight to the blind.  He healed by just a touch.  And, oh how He loved!  Everyone He came in contact with went away better.  And then He died on a cross, broken and poured out for us. He crushed every sin we would ever commit so that we, too, could live with Him in heaven.

So let’s adore Him today as they did on that night so long ago…

Suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel,
praising God and saying:
Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and peace on earth to people He favors!
Luke 2:13-14

*   ♥  ~  ✝  ~  ★   *

Let us pray: Dearest God, oh how we love You!  Oh, how we worship You and bow down at Your feet.  We lay down all our burdens today and we ask that You take our worries.  Thank You that You are for us and that nothing that we have done can separate us from You.  Help us to remember what this season is about; and to not get so wrapped up in the gifts that we don’t have, but to remember the only Gift that we need…You, Jesus.  Remind us, too, that the same miracles that happened back then can happen today.  You are enough!  In Jesus’ name, amen.

Christmas Hope

phssChristmasgraphic2014

Her wish this Christmas
Was that Christmas would just pass her by
Nothing could reach her
Or answer her questions why
She feels so alone
And she wonders if all hope is gone

Hope is a candle
A light in the window
Showing the way for
A heart to come home
Hope is a Savior
Who was born in the manger
Sent down from Heaven
To rescue our hearts
Our Christmas hope

She never imagined
That for her there was hope to find
But isn’t it amazing
How God brings a heart back to life
She’s smiling now she’s finding out
What Christmas hope is all about

Hope is a present
A gift freely given
To all who receive
And open their hearts
Hope is a promise
For a better tomorrow
In a world filled with sorrow
We always have hope

NewSong
Songwriters: Eddie Carswell and Matthew West

 *    ♥  ~  ✝  ~  ★    *

Hope is a Savior
Who was born in the manger
sent down from Heaven
to rescue our hearts

Yes!  This is part of our Christmas hope!  This is our daily hope!  This is the foundation of our eternal hope!  And accompanying our hope—trust and faith that He is coming back again!

This song was written as part of the soundtrack for the movie ‘Christmas Hope’ a faith-based movie about the lives of hurt, sad people and how they intertwine through times of tragedy and hope and restoration. (If you haven’t already seen this movie, it is a wonderful one to add to your holiday playlist!)

Just like the fictional folk who are part of the story of ‘Christmas Hope’ we, too, desperately need hope…sometimes it seems…at every turn of our lives.  And (just like Patty, Mark, Nathan, and little Emily), we HAVE been given the greatest Hope there could possibly be—a Savior, a Redeemer—Jesus Christ the Messiah!

God’s people waited hundreds of years for the fulfillment of the promise of a child to be born of the line of David in Bethlehem.  They believed and trusted and waited with HOPE for the promise to be fulfilled.

Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign:
Behold, the young woman who is unmarried and a virgin
shall conceive and bear a son,
and shall call his name Immanuel [God with us].
Isaiah 7:14

(See also Micah 5:2; Jeremiah 23:5 and 6; Isaiah 9:1-2, 6-7…among many other verses which contain these promises.)

God also made promises to a young Hebrew girl.  She had been taught by her parents about the promised Redeemer and had this hope within her heart.  God sent His messenger Gabriel to give her another promise.  This surely must have increased her hope!

Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.
And coming in, he said to her, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.”
Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.”

(excerpts from Luke 1:28-35)

Promises made in olden times have already come to pass—Jesus, the Son of God, was born and ultimately gave His life fulfilling many more promises.  And hope has been realized!  We cling to promises made that are still unfulfilled…promises that fuel our hope because we know the One Who has promised IS faithful!!!  May these be a vital part of our Christmas Hope!

And said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven?
This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven,
will come in the same way as you saw Him go into heaven.”
Acts 1:11

…so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many,
will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin,
to those who eagerly await Him.
Hebrews 9:28

Awaiting and looking for the [fulfillment, realization of our] blessed hope,
even the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior
Christ Jesus (the Messiah, the Anointed One)…
Titus 2:13

This Is Christmas

phssChristmasgraphic2014

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!

The Christmas Hope

phssChristmasgraphic2014

Her wish this Christmas
Was that Christmas would just pass her by
Nothing could reach her
Or answer her questions why
She feels so alone
And she wonders if all hope is gone

Hope is a candle
A light in the window
Showing the way for
A heart to come home
Hope is a Savior
Who was born in the manger
Sent down from Heaven
To rescue our hearts
Our Christmas hope

She never imagined
That for her there was hope to find
But isn’t it amazing
How God brings a heart back to life
She’s smiling now she’s finding out
What Christmas hope is all about

Hope is a present
A gift freely given
To all who receive
And open their hearts
Hope is a promise
For a better tomorrow
In a world filled with sorrow
We always have hope

Songwriters: Eddie Carswell and Matthew West ~ Performed by NewSong

 *    ♥  ~  ✝  ~  ★    *

Hope is a Savior
Who was born in the manger
sent down from Heaven
to rescue our hearts

Yes!  This IS part of our Christmas hope!  This is our daily hope!  This is the foundation of our eternal hope!  And accompanying our hope—trust and faith that He is coming back again!

This song was written as part of the soundtrack for the movie ‘Christmas Hope’ a faith-based movie about the lives of hurt, sad people and how they intertwine through times of tragedy and hope and restoration. (If you haven’t already seen this movie, it is a wonderful one to add to your holiday playlist!)

Just like the fictional folk who are part of the story of ‘Christmas Hope’ we, too, desperately need hope…sometimes it seems…at every turn of our lives. And, just like Patty, Mark, Nathan, and little Emily, we HAVE been given the greatest Hope there could possibly be—a Savior, a Redeemer—Jesus Christ!

God’s people waited for hundreds of years for the fulfillment of the promise of a child to be born of the line of David in Bethlehem. They believed and trusted and waited with HOPE for the promise to be fulfilled.

Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign:
Behold, the young woman who is unmarried and a virgin
shall conceive and bear a son,
and shall call his name Immanuel [God with us].
Isaiah 7:14

(See also Micah 5:2; Jeremiah 23:5 and 6; Isaiah 9:1-2, 6-7…among many other verses.)

God also made promises to a young Hebrew girl.  She had been taught by her parents about the promised Redeemer and had this hope within her heart.  God sent His messenger Gabriel to give her another promise.  This surely must have increased her hope!

Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.
And coming in, he said to her, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.”
Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.”

(excerpts from Luke 1:28-35)

Promises made in olden times have already come to pass—Jesus, the Son of God, was born and ultimately gave His life fulfilling many more promises.  And hope has been realized!  We cling to promises made that are still unfulfilled…promises that fuel our hope because we know the One Who has promised IS faithful!!!  May these be a vital part of our Christmas Hope!

And said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven?
This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven,
will come in the same way as you saw Him go into heaven.”
Acts 1:11

…so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many,
will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin,
to those who eagerly await Him.
Hebrews 9:28

Awaiting and looking for the [fulfillment, realization of our] blessed hope,
even the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior
Christ Jesus (the Messiah, the Anointed One)…
Titus 2:13