Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas Day: Jesus is our Savior

Image result for luke 2:11 
image 

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is the Messiah, The Lord.  
Luke 2:11

Today is it.  We celebrate Jesus, the greatest gift every given to us.  Despite all the chaos and stress, Christmas comes and goes.  Sometimes it feels like just another day but it shouldn’t.  It's a time to stop and reflect.  The way I make the most of it is where I put my focus.  It could be on hosting dinner, finding the perfect gift, attending a record number of church services or it could be on Jesus.  I will never give or receive any better and greater gift than that baby born to a virgin in a cave stable 2000+ years ago.  He is the True Reason for our celebration.  God has out-gifted us all.  

Jesus coming down to us is the good news but we can’t understand or appreciate the good news without the bad news. The bad news is that we are all sinners, born into Adam’s family of sin (Romans 6:23, Romans 5). We want and try to be our own saviors because we think we have it all right. The truth is we are farrrr from getting it right and getting into heaven. God can’t be around unholiness meaning He can’t be around people who don’t have Jesus in their lives to wrap them in His righteousness. Without Jesus, we face death and separation from God. With Jesus, we might face trials and sufferings for our beliefs but we have a hope that last forever, the hope of heaven and God waiting for us, preparing a room for us to live with Him forever ( 1Peter 1:3-4, John 14:2-3).

Jesus was born to die for us.  He is the Perfect Lamb of God to pay the price—death, for all of our sins.  He is the Messiah, the long awaited one.  He fulfilled many scripture prophecies that night He was born.  All of Heaven was waiting and rejoicing.  Angels were crowding in to see their Creator born on Earth.  What a sight that would've been to be a shepherd when the heavenly hosts were praising God.  We will see that one day :)

So today as you look at the Baby in the manager, also look at the cross because that is what He was looking forward to for you. Is Jesus the One you have been waiting for in your life?  Is He your personal Savior?  Run to Him because He is waiting with open arms in love to receive you.  How will you praise Him for saving each one of us?  What words of worship will you offer Him on this Christmas Day?

Merry Christmas and Enjoy the Day with your family celebrating our Lord!!! 

In His Love,
A

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Forth Sunday in Advent: Jesus is God with us!


Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a Son, and will call Him Immanuel. 
Isaiah 7:14

Today is THE day before THE BIG DAY.  Tomorrow we celebrate Jesus' birth, but today is the last day to prepare our hearts and we really should be celebrating each and every day.  The second to last name for Jesus we will study is Emmanuel or Immanuel (Greek vs. Hebrew spelling).  This name is so wonderful because it means "God with us".  

Jesus came down from Heaven to dwell among, literally the Greek word for dwelling is ἐσκήνωσεν and means tabernacled among us!  The original reason that God had the Israelites build the Tabernacle (or temple) was so He could dwell among the people in that one place.  Then Jesus comes down to dwell among the people and teach them free to move around and travel. 

However, Jesus didn't leave us alone when He ascended to Heaven after His resurrection.  He left His Spirit (well after Pentecost, see Acts) so He is always with us.  We are never alone in any circumstances.  Sometimes I feel as if I am alone when no other humans are around or can understand my situation.  Jesus is there for me and has gone through the same feelings and temptations that we face every day.  

Jesus fulfilled the original intent of the Tabernacle.  He came and dwelled with us in human flesh and then returned to Heaven.  The Holy Spirit was sent down so that we can have God in us not just with us.  Therefore, the Holy Spirit dwells within us, closer than any relationship with God prior to Jesus.  

Our relationship with God is even more intimate than Moses and God because Jesus has fully cleansed us.  With this cleansing we can now come so close to God that He can live inside of us!!  Does this change your view on the celebration tomorrow?  Will you take some time tomorrow to give thanks and just rest in the awe of God's amazing love?

With His Love,
A

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Christmas Eve Eve: Jesus is the Prince of Peace


"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.  And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
Isaiah 9:6
I have always struggled with anxiety and only when I rely on Jesus, do I have peace in my soul.  Jesus is my Prince of Peace.  He brought a Peace into my life that is unlike anything of this world.  The Peace that Jesus offers is amazing.  You can be free of so many things if you let Jesus take over your life.  When you are rooted and have Jesus as your Foundation, then Peace will enter your life.

I think the greatest Peace is that our life is already in the hands of God.  He knows everything that will happen.  We just need to be still and listen to Him.  That's how I have experienced Peace in my life.  Giving control to God (who ultimately has it in the first place!). When I give to Him what is rightfully His, then Peace follows.  

There is more to the peace that Jesus brings, more than our freedom from reliance and more than harmony but a peace with God.  Before Jesus, we were enemies of God. Now that Jesus interceedes and advoates for us, we are united back with God. The war is over between us and God because our rebellion is gone when we believe in Jesus. We are now at peace with God. He even calls us His children!  We have gone from enemies to children!!!!!

Peace is something we all desperately need at all times of the year but especially now.  We are rushing around not savoring the meaning of this season: the celebration of God's gift to us.  We have received the most important gift of all: Salvation!!  Jesus came down to save us, why do we overlook this fact every year?  What is robing you of your peace?  Jesus is the Prince of Peace.  His peace can be never taken away from us.  When we feel robbed of peace, that is the false imitation of worldly peace that we feel gone.  

This is one attribute that I continuously praise Jesus for this season, but I don't feel very at peace. Daily I need to exchange my version of peace for Jesus' True Peace.  How are you incorporating more peace into your life?  Is Jesus your Prince of Peace?

In His Love,
A

Friday, December 22, 2017

Jesus is the Kinsman Redeemer on the 20th Day of Advent

"Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us."
Galatians 3:13a

Why do we need a Redeemer?  It all begins with Adam and Eve in the Garden.  When they brought sin into the world the also brought death.  "For the wages of sin is death." Romans 6:23 We all deserve death because we can't live up to the perfect standards that God requires.  He is holy and cannot be near sin.  That is why He instructed Moses with the careful precautions and specifics when the Israelite built the tabernacle.  God couldn't be near the sinful people unless a sacrifice, death, was made to cover the sins.

Therefore, Christ made that sacrifice to redeem us back to God the Father.  Because Jesus died for us, He took that curse of death from us and now we can live freely in Him.  Jesus paid that price and brought us back to being able to have a relationship with God like Adam and Eve experienced before they ate the apple.  Not only did He redeem us back to have a relationship with God but we can be part of God's family!!

In the book of Ruth, we see Naomi has lost her husband and her sons.  She goes back to her homeland with her daughter-in-law Ruth.  A widowed woman with no sons would need to find another relative to take care of her.  Back in her homeland we see a guardian-redeemer or kinsman redeemer in Boaz.  If he marries Ruth than he can redeem the family, taking them in and caring for them.  He does marry Ruth and becomes part of Jesus' ancestry line!! Boaz is just a foreshadow of Jesus redeeming us and buying us back to God's family.  I just love how God has knitted together the Bible stories. 

How has being redeemed and set right with God changed your life?  In what way do you thank Jesus for redeeming you: Pledging your whole heart and life to him? Praising Him daily? Think of the magnitude of this gift and respond!! In your prayer time today, what words of worship can you offer to show your gratitude for redemption?

With His Love,
A

Thursday, December 21, 2017

On the 19th Day of Advent, Jesus is Advocate

"My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin.  But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father--Jesus Christ, the Righteous One."
1 John 2:1

John is using some legal terms here.  An advocate is someone who speaks on behalf of someone else.  We usually think of lawyers and quite frankly Jesus is the best lawyer.  He goes to the Father on our behalf.  He just doesn't defend us because He knows our intentions were good when we sinned--which they weren't, He defends us because He died for us.  He tells His Father, remember when I died on the Cross, well that was for her.  God the Father sees us through the lens of Jesus and His Perfect Life.  

Paul tells us in Romans 6 that we are united with Him.  We are united with His Perfect Life and Death so that we can be clothed with His righteousness.  God sees us pure and sinless when we accept Jesus' as our Savior.  Jesus literally is always standing between us and God so that we can go to God with any prayers or concerns that we need!

Jesus is the best legal defense we could possibly need!  How can we praise Jesus today for standing in our place and defending us?

In His Love,
A