December 14, 2017

Thank You, Lord

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I come before You today
And there’s just one thing that I want to say
Thank You, Lord
Thank You, Lord

For all You’ve given to me
For all the blessings I cannot see
Thank You, Lord
Thank You, Lord

With a grateful heart
With a song of praise
With an outstretched arm
I will bless Your name
Thank You, Lord
I just wanna thank You, Lord
Thank You, Lord
I just wanna thank You, Lord
Thank You, Lord

For all You’ve done in my life
You took my darkness and gave me Your light
Thank You, Lord
Thank You, Lord

You took my sin and my shame
You took my sickness and healed all my pain
Thank You, Lord
Thank You, Lord

Yes we thank You, Lord; thank You, Lord; thank You, Lord
Yes we thank You, oh we thank You

Don Moen
Songwriters Patrick Henderson and Louis E Brown III

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The Bible tells us to “give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good.” In the Kings James Version, this specific command is given at least six times: 1 Chronicles 16:34, Psalm 106:1, Psalm 107:1, Psalm 118:1 and 29, and Psalm 136:1.  Of course, there are many other references to giving thanks to the Lord throughout His Word.  Many of them give thanks to Him for something or someone.  I like the focus of this verse because it is all about our Lord.  In fact, these six verses speak solely of His goodness and His mercy.

As this song mentions, we have so much to thank God for:

  • blessings we can’t see
  • taking us out of darkness and giving us His light
  • taking our sin, shame, sickness, and pain
  • for all He’s done in our lives

And for all those things we give God our thanksgiving. But today, mostly I just want to come to Him and give Him thanks and praise. He is worthy. He is our God, who is good and full of mercy and grace. Over and over, “I just wanna thank You, Lord.”

Thus will I bless Thee while I live:
I will lift up my hands in Thy name.
Psalm 63:4

Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the Lord.
Psalm 134:2

Let my prayer be set forth before Thee as incense;
and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.
Psalm 141:2

In every place of worship, I want men to pray with holy hands lifted up to God, free from anger and controversy. 1 Timothy 2:8 NLT

During this season of Thanksgiving, when we are reminded to take time to be thankful for all that God has blessed us with, I don’t want to forget to simply be thankful for God, Himself.  (What about you?)  With a grateful heart, with a song of praise, I want to “Bless the Lord, O, my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name!” (Psalm 103:1).  Please join me with outstretched arms, with hands and hearts lifted to our Lord, and give Him thanks. He is worthy.

All glory to Him who alone is God,
our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord.
All glory, majesty, power, and authority are His before all time,
and in the present, and beyond all time! Amen.
Jude 1:25

And then I heard every creature in heaven
and on earth and under the earth and in the sea.
They sang: “Blessing and honor and glory and power
belong to the One sitting on the throne
and to the Lamb forever and ever.”
Revelation 5:13

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Dear Lord, we can easily come to You with a long list of things and people that we are thankful for; You have blessed us with so much.  But first and foremost, Lord, we come to give You thanks for being You.  You are God above all gods, Lord above all lords.  You deserve all praise and worship. There is no one like You.  You are love, You are mercy, You are grace, and so much more.  Thank You, Lord!  In Jesus’ Precious and Holy Name we give our praise and thanksgiving.  Amen, It Is So!

I Will Not Fear

Though the fig tree does not bud
and there is no fruit on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
Yet I will triumph in Yahweh;
I will rejoice in the God of my salvation!
Yahweh my Lord is my strength;
He makes my feet like those of a deer
and enables me to walk on mountain heights!
Habakkuk 3:17-19

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I am claiming this verse today…and I am placing my needs before His feet. Fig trees and olive crops are symbols for the things of this world that we may lack at this very moment.  August is always hard here.  School is looming and there are always needs: clothes, shoes, school supplies (and now with one in college), the list goes on…and on. But isn’t God so much bigger than any of these?  {yes!}

It’s funny how God leads me to certain verses on the days that i write…and it always is something that I need to hear and to pass along to you.  What are you believing God for today?  Are you struggling to believe at all?  Sometimes things feel so desperate (and, truly, they may be).  There may be no food in the pantry and no money to go purchase any.  Or a really big bill is due and you have absolutely no idea how you are going to pay it.  Or an illness and a bad report has you feeling like there is no hope at all.

But the good news is this: There is always hope in Jesus!

I know that my sound cliche but it is so true! If you put all your hope and all your efforts into just praising Him today—though the problems may still be there—there will be joy in place of sorrow!  Hope will replace hopelessness and praise will replace pity.  We may not get to choose the circumstances in our lives but we can choose how we react to them.  (I am preaching to myself!)

Fear and worry are stealers, and they come straight from the enemy who wants nothing more than to rob you of all you have.  He especially wants to take your hope away.  But if we let him have that…we have let him win.  The enemy doesn’t go after your salvation.  He can’t have it!  But he can take the peace that comes with the salvation that Jesus gave His own life for us to have.  One of my favorite passages is Psalms 23.  It was one of the first ones that I learned in elementary school and it is one that has gotten me through a lot of hard times.  In verse 4 is says:

Even when I walk through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid, for You are close beside me.
Your rod and Your staff protect and comfort me.

Today, as you read this verse, fill in the blank with your own valley.

Even when I walk through ________,
I will not be afraid, for You are close beside me. 

And know beyond a shadow of a doubt that whatever it is you wrote down, that your God is able to do this and so much more.  Claim it with me today…and enjoy the sunshine today!

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Let us pray: Dear God, You are so full of love for us and Your grace is sufficient for every minute that we breathe.  You are the same always; You never change.  Thank You for Your provision and Your hand in everything that we go through.  You waste nothing, oh Lord!  I pray today for all these friends reading this today, that You would give them back their joy and peace, oh God!  And that nothing that the enemy throws at them can take away the hope that they have in You.  Silence his lies today and everyday.  Remind them that feelings are feelings but that Your Word is truth.  Lead them to the truth today. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Proclaim Allegiance to His Name

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Through Him then let us offer up a sacrifice of praise to God continually,
that is, the fruit of lips which confess His name.
Hebrews 13:15

The New Living Translation says it this way:

Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God,
proclaiming our allegiance to His Name.

The phase “proclaiming our allegiance to His Name” popped out at me. It sounded so different than the other translations that refer to “the fruit of lips that confess His Name.” I just had to do a little research to understand what this verse is really saying.

  • To “confess” God’s Name is to declare, state, acknowledge His Name
  • To “proclaim allegiance” is to announce publicly, or to declare something one considers important with due emphasis, which in this case would be one’s loyalty or commitment of a subordinate to a superior

What sacrifice do I/we offer to God for the sacrifice He made for us by giving His Only Son, Jesus?

What sacrifice do I/we offer to Jesus for Him sacrificing His very lifeblood to cleanse us of our sins?

I thought about missionaries on a foreign field who have sacrificed their house, their car, their homeland, and perhaps even their safety, to proclaim their allegiance to God and to share the Good News of Jesus’ sacrifice. Truly in God’s eyes, that is a continual sacrifice of praise to Him.

I also thought about the pastor of a little struggling country church. He has confessed, proclaimed allegiance to God by faithfully serving for years with little or no salary, so that others would hear of Jesus’ sacrifice for them. Yes, that, too, is a continual sacrifice of praise to God. 1 Peter 2:5 (AMP) says,

[Come] and, like living stones, be yourselves built [into] a spiritual house,
for a holy (dedicated, consecrated) priesthood, to offer up [those] spiritual sacrifices
[that are] acceptable and pleasing to God through Jesus Christ.

God is calling each of us through Jesus Christ to sacrifice ourselves, to be dedicated and consecrated, to the position (priesthood) of pleasing God with our proclamation of allegiance. We don’t have to be a missionary or a country pastor to please God. What pleases God is our private and our public continual sacrifice of praise and declaration of Him and His salvation through Jesus Christ.

Bring your confessions, and return to the Lord.
Say to Him,
Forgive all our sins and graciously receive us,
so that we may offer You our praises.
Hosea 14:2

Our sacrifices are to be in the manner of adoration, worship, prayer, thanksgiving, allegiance, confession, and dedication. God is great and greatly to be praised. Our genuine praise will have no end.

Great is the LORD!
He is most worthy of praise!
No one can measure His greatness.
Psalm 145:3

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Dear Lord God, we come to You today with our sacrifices of praise on our lips.  You are worthy beyond words to receive all of our praise, and not just those of thanksgiving but also those of public confession and allegiance.  Holy Spirit, please help us to be strong and brave as we express publicly our thankfulness and our allegiance to God.  May our sacrifice of praise show others the way to You through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.  In Jesus’ Name we ask these things, Amen.

10,000 Reasons

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Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before, O my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name

The sun comes up, it’s a new day dawning
It’s time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes

You’re rich in love, and You’re slow to anger
Your name is great, and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find

And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then forevermore

Jesus, I’ll worship Your holy name
Lord, I’ll worship Your holy name

 Singer/Songwriter Matt Redman with Jonas Myrin

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What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear this song?  For me, it’s all the things God has redeemed me from….  God has been so good to me!

Here is what God wants from us in return:

For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.
Do all things without murmurings and disputings….
Philippians 2:13-14 (KJV)

We are to do ALL things without murmurings and disputings (or complaining).  I heard Joyce Meyer once say, “Complain and Remain, or Praise and Be Raised.” This reminds me of the Israelites who complained on the 40 year journey that should have only taken them 11 days.

Does this mean that we have to like our current circumstances?  NO!!  In fact I haven’t liked most of my circumstances.  But it does mean that we trust God’s faithfulness so much.  And that we hold onto the joy that is only found in Him. And we choose to remember and be thankful for what He has done for us and then be obedient to what He calls us to do.  Obedience is at the core of receiving this new life of blessings.

He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”
Luke 11:28 NIV

No matter what we are currently walking through…God is worthy to be praised!

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Heavenly Father, I bless Your Holy name and thank You that whatever may pass or whatever lies before me…I will be singing before the evening comes.  Bless the Lord, O my soul!  Lord, I’ll worship Your Holy Name. Amen.

Shackles (Praise You)

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Whoo!
It sure is hot out here, Ya know
I don’t mind though
Just glad to be free
Know what I’m saying, uh!

Take the shackles off my feet so I can dance
I just wanna praise You
(What’cha wanna do?)
I just wanna praise You
(Yeah, yeah)

You broke the chains now I can lift my hands
(Uh feel me?)
And I’m gonna praise You
(What’cha gon do?)
I’m gonna praise You

In the corners of mind
I just can’t seem to find a reason to believe
That I can break free
‘Cause You see I have been down for so long
Feel like the hope is gone
But as I lift my hands, I understand
That I should praise You through my circumstance

Take the shackles off my feet so I can dance
I just wanna praise You
I just wanna praise You
You broke the chains now I can lift my hands
And I’m gonna praise You
I’m gonna praise You

Everything that could go wrong
All went wrong at one time
So much pressure fell on me
I thought I was gon lose my mind
But I know You wanna see If I will hold on through these trials
But I need You to lift this load
‘Cause I can’t take it anymore

Take the shackles off my feet so I can dance
I just wanna praise You
I just wanna praise You
You broke the chains now I can lift my hands
And I’m gonna praise You
I’m gonna praise You

Been through the fire and the rain
Bound in every kind of way
But God has broken every chain
So let me go right now

~  Sing this song with me as our prayer and worship today.  ~

Be joyful always;
pray continually;
give thanks in all circumstances,
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Be joyful always?  Give thanks in all circumstances?  Seems like a tough one, doesn’t it?  When things are going really well for us, I hear folks saying “God is good!”, but are we saying that when things AREN’T going our way??  We should! God is good, friends, ALL THE TIME!

I have a playlist on my computer simply called “Praise.”  This song (Shackles) leads the group.  Whenever things seem to be a bit overwhelming or I’m having a particularly rough day, I crank that playlist and sing with all I’ve got.

Psalm 100 tells us:

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.  Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.

You see, it’s not about MY circumstance, it’s about HIM.  I know who I belong to, and the One who made me is good, He loves me and will be faithful to me!  So I praise him through ALL circumstances.  I don’t have to like the circumstance, but I do love God, and I trust that when He tells me that He works all things for my good (Romans 8:28), that He is able to turn anything around!  As an added bonus, when I focus on praising God, I take my attention off myself which then allows God to lift my spirits!

Why not try it today?  Crank up this song and sing and dance unto the Lord!

  • Praise Him for His greatness and love for you!
  • Praise Him for having all things under control!
  • Praise Him for loving you unconditionally and caring about the circumstance in which you find yourself – no matter how challenging!

Then feel how those waves of praise come back to you in the peace and love of Jesus.  Praise the Lord!!  😀  Have a wonderful day filled with the love of God!

Praising, Teaching, and Being Observant

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Praise the Lord! (Hallelujah!)
O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever!
Who can put into words and tell the mighty deeds of the Lord?
Or who can show forth all the praise [that is due Him]?
Psalms 106:1-2

God is good.  God is great.  God is infinite.  God is merciful.  God is love.  God is kindness. The adjectives can go on and on.  God is many things, and it is hard to put into words just how great He is.  Yet, the writers of the Bible were able to do it and so should we. Any Christian should be able to voice the many wonderful things that make up God’s everlasting Being.

The Lord has been performing mighty deeds since the beginning, and He continues to do them today.  We only have to be observant to see them.

Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:
and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Matthew 28:20

By being observant, we can see all the mighty works of God on a daily basis.  God commands us to teach each others how to observe all things.  He is with us and sees what we see. He knows what we think.  He has been this way since the beginning of time and He will be with us through the end of the world.  He never leaves us, and we can see it every day.

We should sing praises to God with every breath and in everything we do. We are the ones that can put into words the wonderful and miraculous things that God does.  We are not supposed to do it just on Sundays, but we are supposed to sing praise to God every day.  God gives us multiple blessings every breath we take.  We should give God praise every second that we can.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your mighty power, love, mercy, goodness, and all the other adjectives that we can think of.  You are with us always.  Please give us the strength to get through the days and allow us to praise You with you every breath.  In Jesus name, Amen.

CHRISTLife — Week Six

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So! I have briefly read through each of the chapters we will be studying this week in CHRISTLife: Embracing Your True and Deepest Identity.  As always, Mrs. Myers shares the Truth and additional godly images that encourage us to say “I AM what God says I am!”  (Are you more and more believing it? Can you say it wholeheartedly?)

This week’s chapters are:

Always A Receiver…focusing on grace, grace, and more grace!

1 Corinthians 15:10
But by the grace of God I am what I am,
and His grace to me was not without effect.

New Altogether…take God at His Word; and see yourself as the new creation that He has made you to be!

Colossians 3:9 and 10
Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self
with its practices and have put on the new self,
which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its Creator.

Empowered…In Christ we have absolutely all the strength we will ever need to do any thing that He calls or commands us to do!

Philippians 4:13
I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me
[I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him
Who infuses inner strength into me;
I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].

Enlightened…No longer do we dwell and walk in darkness! Let your little light shine!

2 Corinthians 4:6
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,”
made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light
of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.

(And then as we jump into Part Three, Three Pillars of our New Identity)
Belonging… to God because of His love that accepts us into union with Himself!

Ephesians 2:19
Therefore you are no longer outsiders (exiles, migrants, and aliens,
excluded from the rights of citizens), but you now share citizenship
with the saints; and you belong to God’s [own] household.

And throughout each of the chapters we study this week, there seems to me to be an underlying message that is communicated throughout—giving praise to God for the Truth of our identity.  As we continue to look at the facts of just who we are in Christ and faithfully replace the old, negative images (lies) with the Truth and reality of our True eternal, spiritual life.

  • We can praise Him for the new creation we are and the new life we are living.
  • We can praise Him that through Jesus we, who are weak, are made strong.
  • We can praise Him that we can see because ‘in His light we see light.”
  • We can praise Him for all that His precious, unconditional, everlasting Love brings into our lives.
  • We can praise Him that we will never again be on the outside…through Jesus’ blood we now belong.
  • We can praise and thank Him wholeheartedly declaring “I AM who God says I am!”

As Long as I’m Alive I’ll Glorify His holy Name

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Ain’t no rock gonna cry in my place…as long as I’m alive I’ll glorify His holy Name

Praise His holy Name!  As long as I’m alive I’ll glorify His holy Name

Ain’t no bird gonna flap it’s feathers…as long as I’m alive I’ll glorify His holy Name

Ain’t no tree gonna wave its branches…as long as I’m alive I’ll glorify His holy Name

Ain’t no rock gonna cry in my place…as long as I’m alive, I’ll glorify His holy Name

~  performed by Hillsong Kids; written by LaMarquis Jefferson~

Is this your declaration too?  Do you make sure that you are the one praising God and thanking Him for the grace and mercy He showers upon your life?

Jesus made it clear and simple. Luke chapter 19 contains this record of Jesus’ ascent and entry into Jerusalem. This occurs during the week prior to His betrayal, arrest, trial, torture, crucifixion, and ultimately, His death. During this time, His disciples were openly recognizing Him as King and praising God for the miracles which Jesus had done.

As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road.
When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives,
the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices
for all the miracles they had seen:
“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”
“I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”
Luke 19:36-40

As Jesus traveled along, making His way into Jerusalem, this continued…praising and shouting out…to the point that the Jewish leaders told Him to hush His disciples. But Jesus, knowing that no matter what, God was going to be praised, responded that even if His disciples were to be quiet, “…the stones will cry out!” God will be praised!

Throughout the Book of Psalms, the writers of the psalms spoke the same truth. They knew that praise was intrinsically built in to all nature.

The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shows and proclaims His handiwork.
Day after day pours forth speech, and night after night shows forth knowledge.
There is no speech nor spoken word [from the stars]; their voice is not heard.
Yet their voice goes out through all the earth, their sayings to the end of the world.
Psalms 19:1-4

Praise the Lord from the heavens, praise Him in the heights above.
Praise Him, all his angels, praise Him, all His heavenly hosts.
Praise Him, sun and moon, praise Him, all you shining stars.
Praise Him, you highest heavens and you waters above the skies.
Let them praise the name of the Lord, for He commanded and they were created.
He set them in place for ever and ever; He gave a decree that will never pass away.”
Psalms 148:1-6

Job knew, too. He spoke these words.

“But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you;
or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you.
Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this?
In His hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.”
Job 12:7-10

He clearly let it be known that the animals, the birds, the fish along with the plants and trees know about their Creator…AND…declare it, too! So, we have no excuse! Let your praise be loud…and let it be long! Don’t hide it…don’t avoid the many, many, many opportunities that you have to teach and tell about all God has done! And, for God’s glory, don’t let the rocks and the birds, and the trees speak for you!  As long as you are alive…glorify His holy Name!

Gabriel’s Message – Sting

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The angel Gabriel from heaven came
His wings as drifted snow
His eyes as flame
“All hail” said he “thou lowly maiden Mary,
Most highly favored lady,” Gloria!

“For known a blessed mother thou shalt be,
All generations laud and honor thee,
Thy Son shall be Emanuel,
By seers foretold
Most highly favored lady,” Gloria!

Then gentle Mary meekly bowed her head
“To me be as it pleaseth God,” she said,
“My soul shall laud and magnify His holy name.”
Most highly favored lady, Gloria!

Of her Emanuel, the Christ was born
In Bethlehem all on a Christmas morn
And everyone throughout the world forever saved
Most highly favored lady, Gloria!

Gabriel’s Message  ~  Sting

I first heard this song sometime in the ’80s.  Musically depicting the events told to us in Luke  chapter 1 (verses 26-38, 46-55),  I was originally drawn to the description of the Angel Gabriel and what it must have been like to have been visited by a messenger of God!  Now that I am older and in a different place in my walk with God, I am still drawn to this song, although now focusing on Mary and her obedience.

To me be as it pleaseth God.” – that line always brings goose bumps! In Luke 1:38, Mary says more specifically: “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.”  What beautiful humility!  What a servant’s heart! What a willingness to be a vessel (literally) for God. Surely she had to know the risks, the potential to be shunned and humiliated.  What would Joseph think?  What if he left her? She was a “lowly maiden” – what if she was financially unable to take care of herself and her child? What an amazing trust in God to fulfill His promise to her!  In verses 46-55 we see Mary’s beautiful song of praise:

“My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has been mindful of the humble state of His servant.  From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me – holy is His name.  His mercy extends to those who fear Him from generation to generation.  He has performed mighty deeds with his arm, He has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.  He has brought down rulers from their throne but has lifted up the humble.  He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.  He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, even as He said to our fathers.”

To me be as it pleaseth God.”  Mary’s obedience brought our Savior into the world!  Do I say to the Lord, “May it be to me as you have said”?  May we follow Mary’s example and be as obedient, sisters!  When we do, God uses US as vessels for His divine purpose, and brings blessings to others!

Merry Christmas!

And may God bless you richly with rewards for your obedience to Him!

We Three Kings

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We three kings of Orient are;
Bearing gifts we traverse afar,
Field and fountain, moor and mountain,
Following yonder star.

Every year our six grandkids and I put on a skit depicting a portion of the story of the Nativity.  (I’m the narrator.)  One year it’s the story of the shepherds and the next year it’s of the wise men/the kings.  As I thought of the wise men skit, naturally I thought of this old Christmas carol.  But I was stopped at the second line and the first two words—“bearing gifts.”

They (the wise men) entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary,
and they bowed down and worshiped him.
Then they opened their treasure chests
and gave Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Matthew 2:11

Born a King on Bethlehem’s plain
Gold I bring to crown Him again,
King forever, ceasing never,
Over us all to reign.
Frankincense to offer have I;
Incense owns a Deity nigh;
Prayer and praising, voices raising,
Worshiping God on high.
Myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume
Breathes a life of gathering gloom;
Sorr’wing, sighing, bleeding, dying,
Sealed in the stone cold tomb.

When I think of bearing gifts to this Christmas Child, I have to wonder exactly what “gifts” do I give?  What part of my life do I give that is as the gift of gold which crowns Jesus as King of my life?  Does my life of prayer, praise, and worship have the sweet smell of frankincense rising up to my God?  And is my reverence for my Savior as the perfume of myrrh?  Lastly, I have to ask myself if I’m taking the time with the grands to instill in them the importance of bearing gifts to Jesus?

I’m still pondering exactly what my gifts are and will be.  It doesn’t seem that anything I can give Him is enough, and yet all He asks of me is myself.

O, Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare Your praise.
You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
You do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.
Psalms 51:15-17

Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God
a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess His Name.
And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.
Hebrews 13:15

Glorious now behold Him arise;
King and God and sacrifice;
Alleluia, Alleluia,
Sounds through the earth and skies.

I pray that you will join me in bearing gifts to Jesus this season and everyday. “Alleluia, Alleluia,” sings my soul to my King, my God, and my Savior—The Perfect Light.