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Showing posts from 2011

Break

So Christmas 2011 is history. Already, people are taking down their trees and spending their gift cards on post Christmas deals. But it was a great holiday spent in worship of Immanuel and remembering that the beauty of God's plan was worked out to perfection. I pray that these days were great for you and your families. Until January 2 I will taking a break from the blog to spend time with my family. The Lord calls us to rest in Him and it is time for a change of pace. Come back on Monday when we will pick up 2 Samuel and the story of David once again. I pray that this week allows you a chance for a change of pace as well and that you find your rest in the Savior. Blessings.

Compounded Miracles

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for our time together. Thank You for speaking to me and wanting to share Your love with me. Please help me to remember to daily share my life with You and to always seek Your lovely face. Help me to cherish Your presence and to acknowledge You as my Lord and Savior. In Your name I pray. Amen.

Read:Luke 2:21-40 http://www.esvbible.org/Luke 2:21-40

Thoughts: Christmas 2011 is almost over. The presents have been purchased and  possibly even unwrapped by the time you read this. The dinners have been planned and anticipated. The cookies have been baked and consumed. The hurry can be set aside for another year. Over the course of these 4 weeks, we have closely examined the Christmas story as found in the Bible, focusing in on the details and lessons that we  never become too old or too wise to revisit. While looking back upon the whole of it, a significant thought occurs; this story contains not just a few miracles, but several, all stacked one on top of the …

The Main Character

Prayer: Dear Jesus, I know that Your birthday is what all of this is about. I know that You came to save me from my own sins. Please help me to remember that every day and to honor You for the incredible God that You are. Join me here today through the power of the Holy Spirit You left me and fill up my time with Your presence and Your love. In Your precious name I pray. Amen.
Read:Luke 2:1-20 http://www.esvbible.org/Luke 2:1-20

Thoughts: As you read through the Christmas story, there is one Person who gets little mention – Jesus Himself. When it actually comes time for the birth, it is a very simple line in the text with no fanfare. One moment we are a people waiting for a Savior and the next moment He is here. The story of His birth actually revolves around the people who are already here on earth; Mary, Joseph, Zachariah, Elizabeth, the shepherds, Herod, the wise men, and even the angels. We are the reason that God went to this extraordinary effort. We were in need of a Savior and Go…

Teach, Show, Guide

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I come to a time of devotion for so many reasons. Among them is the desire to know You and be close to You. Please use Your Word to expand my love for You. Pour out Your Spirit, that I might be inspired and that I might gain deeper insight into who You are and how we are to relate to each other. Use this time of devotion to bring honor to Your name and joy to my heart. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Read: Psalm 25 http://www.esvbible.org/Psalm 25:1-22
Thoughts: The Word of God is a fascinating thing. In His infinite wisdom God has chosen the written Word as the vehicle through which we learn of His Son and the saving work that He has done for us. The Word is so important that the Apostle John begins his Gospel with the Words, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” (John 1:1) While we might take it for granted, we are incredibly blessed because we get to hold this Word in our very own hands; read it, memorize it, mark it with…

Gifts

Prayer: “For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you. Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; listen to my plea for grace. In the day of my trouble I call upon you, for you answer me. There is none like you among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like yours. All the nations you have made shall come and worship before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name. For you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God. Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name. I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever. But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” Psalm 86:1-15

Read:1 John 4:7-16 http://www.esvbible.org/1 John 4:7-16

Thoughts: Does it seem to you like the gift-giving frenzy grows each year? It would appear that those who benefit financially from Christmas ratchet up the …

Immanuel

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father. The time of celebration is almost here. Please focus my mind and heart upon You as the season draws to a close. Help me to think of You often during the next few days, and fill me with a determination to celebrate Your birth with joy and intentionality. Be with me today as I ponder Your Word and commit my day to You. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Read: Isaiah 7:14 http://www.esvbible.org/Isaiah 7:14
Thoughts: Every year the Social Security Service compiles a list of the most popular names given that year’s crop of babies. The most popular names for 2010 (stats aren’t out for 2011 yet) were Isabella and Jacob. (Looks like there might be a lot of Twilight fans out there.) In fact, for boys, Jacob has held the number one spot since 1999. The name Jacob means “he grabs the heel” or “supplanter”. Isabelle means “devoted to God”. There are some today who make up names for their babies in an effort to be either ethnic or unique. At any rate, the child is given a nam…

For the Jew and the Gentile

Prayer: Dear Holy God. You are the Living God and it is my honor to worship You and praise You will all of my life. Please Holy Spirit, be welcomed in this time ofdevotion and bring forth the things that I need to think about today. Challenge my faith and cause me to grow as only You are able to do. Be glorified in this time and all of my day. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.
Read: Matthew 2:1-12 http://www.esvbible.org/Matthew 2:1-12
Thoughts: Put a roomful of young women together and quite often the conversation will eventually come around to birthing stories. While the deliveries are pretty much all the same, there are always details of each birth that make that moment incredible, difficult, humorous, unique, or challenging for the mom (and dad) as she remembers all that happened that wonderful day. While the Christmas story is simply therecounting of the birth of a Child, it is absolutely masterful in scope and detail. What are missing are the details of the birth itself, which rea…

Born to Die

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, You are the reason I worship. You are the Savior of my life and I want to praise You along with the angels. It is astounding that You desire a relationship with me, a poor sinful being. But Your Word is clear; that is exactly what You want. So please enable that belief in me through the power of Your Spirit and bring me ever closer to Your heart. In Your name I pray. Amen.
Read: Romans 3:21-26 http://www.esvbible.org/Romans 3:21-26

Thoughts: The Christmas holiday has taken on a life of its own in our culture. And it would seem that very little of that life has anything to do with the Christ Child.Because of the inundation of media we have seen this holiday taken over byshopping, decorations, and Santa Claus. It’s almost like a machine that is grinding out tinsel and garland and we can’t find the off switch. Even those who don’t know Christ are caught up in the hype and probably wouldn’t be able to give you a reason why they are a part of the machine.
Then we read …

Faithful God

Prayer:Awesome God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. There is no one like You. You stand alone as Creator, Savior, and Counselor. Thank You for times of quiet meditation and prayer. Thank You for being so accessible even in Your greatness. Please fill this time with Yourpresence and hear my praises with joy. You are wonderful, dear Lord. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.
Read:Psalm 89:1-37 http://www.esvbible.org/Psalm 89:1-37
Thoughts: One of the subjects taught in literature class used to be ancient Greek and Roman mythology. It seemed important to those who developed the course work that a well-rounded individual be able to retell the stories of man-made gods and goddesses. While these characters all had some sort of power greater than your average human, they were still filled with foibles and follies. At times they were capricious, mean, and always self-serving. They made mistakes and hardly ever followed through on a promise. Because they were created inside the minds of human being,…

Characteristics of God

Prayer:Dear Lord God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Blessed be Your name on my lips all day long. Fill up my heart with knowledge of You and a better understand of who You are so that our relationship might be strengthened daily. Pour out Your Spirit so that I may believe with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Read: Isaiah 9:1-7 http://www.esvbible.org/Isaiah 9:1-7
Thoughts: What would the Christmas season be without a reading the stunning prophecy of Isaiah 9? Besides the actual oft-read text from Isaiah these words have also been immortalized in music (Handel’s Messiah being the most famous) and so are very recognizable and easy to remember. Most of us could recite these two verses without looking at them! (And if you can’t, well – maybe a little homeworkassignment .)
These are words worth knowing for they give us a glimpse into the personality and make-up of the Messiah who is to come.Let’s look at them in a little bit of detail, as they are alive wit…

The Deliverer

Prayer: Heavenly Father, You are Mighty, Forgiving, Just, Merciful. You are All-in-All. I take a moment to praise You and worship You as my God and Lord. Thank You for Your Word and the truth that it speaks as it informs and ever changes my life. Please join me in this time of devotion and build in me a faith that endures. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Read: Matthew 2:1-12 http://www.esvbible.org/Matthew 2:1-12
Thoughts: In its perfection, the Bible is consistently and constantly pointing back to itself as the many stories actually add up to on large picture; that picture is of Christ as our Savior. If you are a student of the Bible at all, today’s reading should sound vaguelysimilar to another story; one from the Old Testament. For a refresher, go back and read Exodus 1:8-2:10. Here you will find the story of the birth (and near death) of Moses. God’s people were not very happy. They had been made slaves after living for 400 years in Egypt, following the amazing success of Joseph in savi…

The Magnificat

Prayer: Gracious God, there is none one like You. Your mercy and grace know no bounds. Your goodness and love are perfect. You are also just, righteous and holy and hold all of the world in perfect balance. I am honored that You would come and join me as I talk with You and share my life with You. Please order my world and fill me with Your presence. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Read:Luke 1:46-56 http://www.esvbible.org/search/Luke+1%3A46-56/
Thoughts: When God inspires praise in us, it is perfection. It doesn’t take a long search to find passage after passage where the name of God is lifted up on the lips of His people. The authors of such verse include Miriam (the sister of Moses), King David, Hannah (the mother of Samuel), Zechariah (the father of John), and now in today’s reading, Mary, the mother of Jesus. These are just a few examples and if you search you will find many, many more.
This particular prayer of praise is recorded for three specific reasons, according to Martin Luther. …