Psalm 86:5 NKJV — For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.
Dear Lord Jesus, Thank You for Your abundant forgiveness, mercy, and grace. Lord, how often we fail to realize the incredible measure of Your love and how far You have gone to extend forgiveness to us. Please help us to call upon You in every circumstance. To follow You with a whole heart. Lord, teach us how to forgive and how to love as You do. Lord Jesus, Your truth, Your faithfulness, Your compassion is what I want to have for others. Please guide me with Your love, Your understanding, Your will. Thank You for all You have done, are doing, and will do. Thank You. Amen.
Luke 2:11 KJV — For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
Jesus is the Son of God.
John 11:27 KJV — She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.
Jesus is the Son of man, born of a virgin.
“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” Matthew 1:23 NKJV
Jesus is the unblemished Lamb of God.
John 1:36 NKJV — And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God!”
Jesus is the Light of the World.
John 8:12 NKJV — Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
Jesus is a teacher.
John 1:38 NKJV — Then Jesus turned, and seeing them following, said to them, “What do you seek?” They said to Him, “Rabbi” (which is to say, when translated, Teacher), “where are You staying?”
Jesus is the Savior.
Acts 13:23 NKJV — “From this man’s seed, according to the promise, God raised up for Israel a Savior—Jesus—
Jesus is the King of kings and Lord of lords.
Revelation 17:14 NKJV — “These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.”
Jesus is a friend.
John 15:15 NKJV — “No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.”
John 15:13 NKJV — “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.
He also told us how to be His friend.
John 15:14 NKJV — “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.
To be the friend of God…
What an incredible privilege!
And Jesus is the Way.
He leads us.
He gave us His commandments.
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. Mark 12:30-31
And He provides the perfect example of these.
His life is our standard and inspiration.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for all Your love. Thank You that You call us friends. Please help us to live today unto You and to follow Your example. Lord, You alone are the only one who can teach us how to live, the way to walk. You are so good, so patient, so gracious, so loving. Thank You. Amen.
For these last few days let’s look at the One whose birthday we are celebrating.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. John 1:1, 3-5 NKJV
The One in a manger was the One at the beginning of creation.
Genesis 1:1 NKJV — In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Jesus is part of the Trinity and was creating at the beginning of our history.
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life— the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us— that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. I John 1:1-3 NKJV
The disciple John does not want anyone to miss the fact that Jesus is the Son of God.
That through Him all things were made and by Him all mankind is saved.
And that he, himself was witness to the truth of the Gospel.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I John 1:9 NKJV
Jesus was no mere “good man”, nor was He simply a wise teacher, He was and is God.
His reason for coming to Earth was simple.
Acts 4:12 NKJV — “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
Romans 1:16 NKJV — For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
1 Thessalonians 5:9 NKJV — For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,
It’s the greatest truth of all time.
His birth brought mankind the greatest gift anyone could ever want or need.
His death built a bridge to span the chasm between us and our holy God.
His resurrection brought us hope, a confident expectation of eternal life in Jesus.
He’s the best gift ever.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You so much for all You have done to rescue us from sin. Thank You for being the greatest gift we can ever receive. Lord Jesus, You are the reason we celebrate. It is Your birthday we are remembering. It is You we are looking toward as we make plans and give gifts. Lord Jesus, You alone are the One Who saves us. This Christmas we want to honor You in all we do, in our actions, our attitudes, and our words. We praise Your holy name, Jesus. Amen.
Not unlike a tiny fish darting from danger, each person is open to fear’s attack.
What child hasn’t cowered in the fear of darkness?
Or cried tears of fear when the startling, the unexpected, the painful struck?
For that matter, what adult hassn’t experienced some fear lurking in their minds?
Fear of failure.
Fear of loss.
Fear of need.
Fear of being alone.
Fear of pain, death, hurt, abandonment,…
The list is long.
Fear comes in many shapes, sizes, and colors, because it’s better at hiding inside other emotions than a chameleon is at blending into the background.
Fear is often a motivation.
But it’s a harsh, cruel, relentless master.
Fear will never be quelled by “good thoughts”, kind words, or self love.
There’s only one thing that conquers it completely.
1 John 4:18 NKJV — There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.
This isn’t the love of a human which is perfect.
It’s the love of God.
Something we can experience because He loved us first.
1 John 4:19 NKJV — We love Him because He first loved us.
1 John 4:9 NKJV — In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.
Fear in any form can not stand before the consuming love of God.
And when one places their lives in His hands He becomes the Master, casting out fear.
The scriptures speak so clearly of the peace which comes when trust in God reigns in the heart.
Psalm 56:11 KJV — In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me.
Psalm 118:6 KJV — The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?
Psalm 56:4 NKJV — In God (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?
2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV — For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
Hebrews 13:6 NKJV — So we may boldly say: “The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”
And there are so many more verses speaking to us.
When we put our trust in God, when we realize how perfect His love, fear is defeated.
Jesus spoke about this in a simple and yet profound way.
Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. Matthew 10:29-31 NKJV
Dear Lord Jesus, Thank You so much for this. To help us understand the profound truth of Your care for Your creation. How great and mighty You are. How infinite and above all we can possibly see or know. Thank You for being both loving and righteous. Thank You for being truth and mercy. Lord, thank You for showing us how great is Your care through these words. To number the very hairs of our heads, to never miss a single bird’s fall to the Earth. To know the hearts of all mankind. Truly, You are incredible and I praise Your holy name. Lord Jesus, thank You for all You are doing, have done, and will do. May the whole Earth be filled with the knowledge of the glory of You. Amen.
For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth; Job 19:25 NKJV
The truth if these words should be enough to carry any child of God through anything.
Job’s words are not spoken lightly.
Nor is he speaking from a place of comfort and security.
His heart is in anguish.
I call my servant, but he gives no answer; I beg him with my mouth. My breath is offensive to my wife, And I am repulsive to the children of my own body. Even young children despise me; I arise, and they speak against me. All my close friends abhor me, And those whom I love have turned against me. Job 19:16-19 NKJV
These words are but a small measure of the depth of Job’s sorrow.
And who can blame him?
His children have all been killed on the same day.
Every part of his finances have been stripped away on that same day.
As if these things were not enough, his body is struck by painful boils from head to foot.
His wife is anything but comforting or understanding.
Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!” Job 2:9 NKJV
Yes, anyone can see Job is suffering in the deepest of ways.
So, there is such testimony in his words of his anguish.
In the middle of him listing off all those who no longer love or respect him he speaks words of such truth.
Words every believer can cling to no matter the season or circumstance.
“For I know that my Redeemer lives,..” Job 19:25a
Our Redeemer is Jesus Christ.
He paid the price for sin, all sin, when He died on the cross.
And He rose again!
Truly, knowing our Redeemer lives, is the very deepest part of a Christian’s faith.
Without Jesus, there’s simply ritual.
It is a personal relationship daily with our Redeemer that breathes life everlasting into our soul.
…”And He shall stand at last on the earth;” Job 19:25b NKJV
Let us never forget this.
Jesus is coming back.
He promised to return for His bride, the Church, and He will.
No matter what our daily activities, we must never weary of looking for the return of our Savior.
Truly, those who are called by His name can say:
For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth; Job 19:25 NKJV
In fact, let us say it often.
Let’s remind one another of this truth.
Let us hold fast to our integrity like Job did, that when the Master returns, He shall find us waiting for Him.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You so much for these truths. Thank You for the teaching we can glean from Job. Thank You for shining Your truth through scripture to our hearts and minds. Thank You for always walking with us, through each circumstance. Lord, humbly, I request, that you make me like Job. A person of integrity, who holds fast to what is right, one who doesn’t waver in their faith no matter the cost. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.
“Lord, please show me my sin that I might repent. Please cleanse me within.”
“Lord, please forgive me! Where have I let pride in?”
And as gently as a mother removing a bandage which has been on too long, the Lord revealed my sin.
Underneath a patch of “doing what is expected” was hiding the real motive.
With the revealed heart motivation came a clear picture of some other areas.
Off and on for a couple of weeks I’ve been feeling emotionally prickly.
Unable to place it before, I simply tried to ignore it.
Obviously, a poor choice.
It’s a bit embarrassing to look upon one’s sin and to realize it had been left undetected by me.
Yet, I’d rather see my sin than allow it to linger and grow.
Because just like all sin, it begins to taint all areas.
Before long the heart can be overcome with bitterness, envy, strife, unforgiveness, and a host of other things.
All through one spot of sin ignored and therefore allowed.
Praise God for His mercy!
What a blessed gift to be shown the danger within and to have my Savior deal with it!
How great is His loving kindness!
Until the day when my LORD calls me home, I will need to be cleansed by Jesus of the sins I commit.
No, I don’t do it on purpose.
Yes, I study His Word that I might be aware of His commandments and do my best to follow them.
No, I’m not able to make it even a single day without falling into sin.
Yes, I keep as short account of those things as possible.
Yes, He truly does love me enough to forgive me and continue to hone my heart that I might not sin against Him.
It’s a beautiful daily walk with Christ.
My Lord and Savior who cleanses me.
As I seek Him this morning, I’m so very thankful for His dealing with my heart yesterday.
For each of us, who are called by His name, may we never walk with hidden sin, but instead confess and become cleansed daily.
1 John 1:9 KJV — If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for loving me so deeply. Thank You for freeing my heart from the pride I had allowed. Lord Jesus, I don’t want to do that again and I am ashamed for doing it, thank You for forgiving me. Please protect me from that in the future. Protect my eyes, my heart, and my mind that I might not sin against You. Please keep me from looking at worthless things, but instead let me focus on You. Lord, thank You so much for Your mercy and grace. I am humbled by Your love. Amen.
Gideon was working in a hidden place to keep the enemy from taking his stuff.
The enemy were the Midianites.
The stuff was wheat, Gideon was threshing.
“Now the Angel of the Lord came and sat under the terebinth tree which was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon threshed wheat in the winepress, in order to hide it from the Midianites.” Judges 6:11 NKJV
Gideon didn’t notice, the man sitting under the terebinth tree.
And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him, and said to him, “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!” Judges 6:12 NKJV
Gideon said to Him, “O my Lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.” Judges 6:13 NKJV
Can you hear it?
The tone of his voice,the frustration, the disbelief, and the discouragement?
Or was Gideon’s tone full of acidity, of the kind who believe God has rejected them and their hopelessness has rotted their soul?
We don’t really know.
God does not tell us what tone or how his heart reacted.
But whatever Gideon had been before, was about to change.
Because the LORD turned to him and spoke.
Then the Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?” Judges 6:14 NKJV
Here Gideon was just saying, “…why has all this happened to us?”
“And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about,…”
To the LORD!
He was accusing God to His very face!
And he was completely unaware of it.
Can you imagine what Gideon felt as he realized what he had just done?!
And yet, God doesn’t zap him on the spot for his sin.
Instead, he gives him an incredible calling.
Gideon followed the LORD’s words and the Midianites were defeated.
And God did it in such a way as to make a clear statement to His people.
When they obeyed His commands things went well.
But unfortunately, they did the turning.
The book of Judges is full of the stories of the Israelites turning away from God and then back towards Him and then away from Him and…
But this moment of God turning towards Gideon is a beautiful example of how faithful God is.
And it should serve as a reminder as well.
God isn’t absent in our trials and sufferings.
The problem isn’t Him.
We fail to notice Him and if we are not careful we can accuse God, when He has done all that is required to save us.
He proved it on the cross and the empty grave.
If ones soul is with Jesus, then this life’s struggles and sufferings are temporary.
Psalm 121:7 NKJV — The LORD shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul.
2 Corinthians 4:17 NKJV — For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,
What can be better than salvation and eternal life in Christ Jesus?
Truly, there is such hope in this moment of Gideon’s for every heart.
God knows far better than we and His is trustworthy.
Even on these days of uncertainty, if we look, He is not far.
God is still sovereign and He has already saved us from the worst enemy there has ever been.
The Bible is overflowing with description after description of God.
One can learn God for a lifetime and never reach the end of Him.
God is our strength and refuge.
Psalm 46:1 NKJV — “God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.”
Story after story is listed in the Scriptures of how God gave both strength and refuge to the people Israel and many individuals.
God sees the heart.
He knows the truth of every matter.
When we are wronged we need not defend ourselves.
Psalm 59:9 NKJV —” I will wait for You, O You his Strength; For God is my defense.”
He is the Judge.
Psalm 50:6 NKJV —” Let the heavens declare His righteousness, For God Himself is Judge. Selah”
His verdicts are always best.
God is the King of all kings.
Psalm 47:7 NKJV — “For God is the King of all the earth; Sing praises with understanding.”
He was before them all, and will be here when their histories are forgotten.
God is holding our very lives.
He wants to help, guide, and direct each person.
Psalm 54:4 NKJV — “Behold, God is my helper; The Lord is with those who uphold my life.”
Jesus is the Savior.
Psalm 62:7 NKJV —”In God is my salvation and my glory; The rock of my strength, And my refuge, is in God.”
What can mankind ultimately do if one’s soul is safely in the hands of God?
There is no pain which lasts past the grave if the soul is safe with Jesus.
Psalm 68:20 NKJV —”Our God is the God of salvation; And to GOD the Lord belong escapes from death.”
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”
John 3:16-17 NKJV
What an incredible picture of God we see in only a few verses.
And there’s so much more.
Praise the Lord!
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for showing us Yourself. Thank You for giving us the Word that we might learn about You. Thank You for coming in flesh to save us from sin and eternal separation. Please, continue to open my mind to Who You are. Please help me to live out these truths. Thank You, Jesus for Your goodness!