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In the flurry of activity surrounding Christmas, one can lose sight of the wonder and awe of the one true and living God, the one who calls Himself “I AM”, “EMANUEL”. It is also possible to overlook the exactness, the precise plan, the deliberately placed scarlet thread woven through the fabric of God’s revelation, connecting the books, written by various authors, from various walks of life, over many generations.

This Christmas, look for the scarlet thread, consider the Weaver, the love evidenced in the fabric woven before the foundations of time, God’s plan for salvation . . .

God prepared the perfect place for man to live in perfect fellowship with Him . . . the garden, in the east of Eden . . .

God allowed them to choose; they chose death, spiritual and physical.

BUT GOD had a plan to bring life . . .

“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel . . .

The plan is slowly revealed . .

God provided a sacrifice for Adam and Eve, a covering for each of them before they left the garden.

God saved Noah . . .

God called Abraham out of a pagan land filled with idolatry to walk by faith in an unseen God.

God asked Abraham for faith, seen in the willing sacrifice of a son by a father in obedience to the God he loved. God provided Himself a sacrifice, so Isaac was spared.

From Isaac, came Jacob and the 12 tribes. The Messiah was to be the Lion of the tribe of Judah.

The 12 tribes were held captive in Egypt and suffered under the bondage of Pharaoh.

God sent a deliverer, Moses, a picture of the ultimate deliverer, Jesus, who God would one day send to deliver the world, from sin.

God gave His people the law through Moses, laying out how sinful man might approach a holy God.

The Law was a school master showing the people their inability to measure up, their ultimate need for a Savior, a Redeemer.

In the wilderness, God gave signs of the Coming One, bringing living water from the Rock . . .

Raining down the bread of life from heaven . . .

A pillar of fire by night and a cloud of protection by day.

God drew the plans for a temporary dwelling place for Him in the wilderness, the Tabernacle. It was a picture of Jesus, the Way to fellowship with the Father.

At the entrance of the Tabernacle was the altar, where the blood would be spilled, the sin offering, the atoning sacrifice for sin.

Next was the Laver, a place for cleansing, for reflection like the water of His Word, which washes us clean and shows us who we are.

Then, the Holy Place, to be entered only by the Priests where there were many pictures of Jesus, the lampstand (the light of the world), the show bread (the bread of life), and the altar of incense (the intercessor).

Finally, the Holy of Holies where only the High Priest could enter and then only once a year. It was a clear picture of our separation from God, our need for a mediator. Jesus Christ, our High Priest, would tear the veil and forever remove the barrier separating us from God, allowing us to run boldly to the throne of grace.

God’s plan was to all-inclusive . . . Consider Rehab, a pagan temple prostitute in the messianic line.

Consider Ruth, the Moabitess, also in the line of the Messiah. We see the love of Boaz, the Kinsman Redeemer, for the foreigner, Ruth. Boaz is a foreshadowing of our Kinsman Redeemer, Jesus.

Boaz lived in Bethlehem, growing barley in fields near where one day our Kinsman Redeemer would lay in a manger.

Consider David, the King God chose, a lowly shepherd boy, watching his sheep in those same fields outside of Bethlehem.
Over time, the people fell away; they left God to seek after idols. They played the harlot, and God forsook them. They were again taken into captivity, this time in Babylon. God, in His great mercy, preserved a remnant.

Consider Esther. A Queen in a place of influence to save her people from total destruction.

Through the remnant, God restores Jerusalem and rebuilds the temple. However, the people again find themselves in captivity. This time, they are under the domination of the Roman Empire, and God has been silent for some 400 years.

But God has not forgotten His promise to Abraham. He has not abandoned His plan for salvation.

In Bethlehem, as foretold by the Prophets of Old, God sent His only begotten son to be the Savior of the world. All the Old Testament signs and foreshadows come into focus in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

It was God’s plan to save man. It was God’s mercy to provide Himself a sacrifice for the sins of man. He sent Jesus to be the mediator between a Holy God and sinful man. It was God’s intention that
the Word would become flesh and dwell among us that we might know God’s love.

No one is righteous; all fall short of God’s law.
The just punishment for violation of God’s law is death.
We’re all dead men walking.
We can’t save ourselves.
We are at the mercy of God.

Jesus, the son of God, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of Jesse, the Promised One, the Messiah . . . He provides the covering for our sins. On the cross at Calvary, He laid down His life, an atoning sacrifice for the sin of mankind. He died and was placed in tomb. On the 3rd day, as He promised, He rose again, conquering death once and for all. He who knew no sin became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

He is the Way . . . the only Way.

May your Christmas be spent worshiping the true and living God who died that you might live . . . forever.

Merry Christmas!

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BABY JESUS, BORN TO DIE

Baby Jesus, small and soft
born that star-filled night
for ages prophets had foretold
Light to pierce the night

Your heavenly home You left behind
put eternal things aside
to enter human time and space
a temporary home.

why would You,
Almighty King
Lord of all the Lords
come down to earth to be with us
so far below Your throne

the cross it is the centerpiece
instrument of pain
see where blood was flowing down
the lamb on it was slain

O Jesus, help me see the truth
Your life was not in vain
Your coming was to meet my need
Yours a blood sacrifice

the living, it was needful
without blemish You were found
yet dying was the pinnacle
my sin stain it removed

in dying You gave your life for me
propitiatory substitute
in rising You opened eternity
rendered the accuser mute

a baby born to humble means
lain in a manger bare
is only part the story told
look further if you dare

the only true and living God
the one they call “I AM”
He kept His promise in the child
He sent His Son, the Lamb

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In Isaiah 2:1 to 4:6, Isaiah gives his second message. He speaks of the temple of the Lord (Isaiah 2:1-5), the Day of the Lord (Isaiah 2:6-3:26), and the Branch of the Lord (Isaiah 4:2-6)

Read Isaiah Chapter 2
1. What is the word concerning according to Isaiah 2:1?

2. What time frame is given for the events described in Isaiah 2:2-4?

3. What is being foretold in verses 2 to 4?

4. Where (in what city) will the house of the Lord be established? What further information are you given about it in the opening verses?

According to Warren Wiersbe, Isaiah the prophet ‘looked ahead to the time when God’s righteous kingdom would be established and the temple would become the center for the worldwide worship of the Lord. In Isaiah’s day, the Jews were adopting the false gods of the Gentiles; but the day would come when the Gentiles would abandon their idols and worship the true God of Israel. The nations would also lay down their weapons and stop warring. These promises must not be “spiritualized” and applied to the church, for they describe a literal kingdom of righteousness and peace. The Jewish temple will be rebuilt, and the Word of God will go forth from Jerusalem to govern the nations of the world.’
–Be Comforted: Isaiah, Warren W. Weirsbe

5. What are the 3 results listed from the arrival of the Judge and His judging between nations in Isaiah 2:4?

6. Read Micah 4:1-4. What do you notice about these verses and the verses from Isaiah 2:2-4?

7. What reasons are given for God having forsaken His people, the house of Jacob in verse 6?

Verse 7

Verses 8-9?

8. What is described in verses 10 to 11?

9. What do the following verses teach?
□ 2 Samuel 22:28

□ 2 Chronicles 7:14

□ Psalm 101:5

□ Proverbs 16:18

□ 2 Timothy 3:1-5

close up court courthouse hammer

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

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I awake to Thee

Today I awake to Thee, Sweet Jesus
today I awake to Thee

My thoughts scurry to the work
I bid them quiet be

I take the water of the Word
and wash myself in it

And then with pen and journal
I in Your presence sit

I find my joy as I wait on You
and hear Your voice again

 

MaryBeth Mullin

Copyright 2018

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YOU

YOU

I breathe in Your Spirit . . . my troubles scatter

I know they lurk in the darkness for another chance to plague me.

I am Yours forever;

how could I forget?

I am precious in your sight.

You have taken me from darkness and judgment

and translated me into the kingdom of Your incredible light.

You

the Light

banish the darkness that threatens me

My enemies are no real threat

You are holding me.

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Voice of Truth

“You never loved me,”  His words laid open my heart.

It is hard to discern truth when someone tells you lies about yourself, even harder when it is someone you should be able to trust like a spouse.

I searched my heart. I searched my actions. I found no evidence to support his accusation. I had been doing all to love someone very difficult to love. I had asked God to help me to love–to give me the love. He had. This was a terrible lie.

It was even more terrible that he believed the lie.

After I cried a river, I let the voice of truth speak over me, of what I had done and not done. I was fully restored to confidence that I had loved and did still love.

My hurt was replaced with sadness. How sad for him–a person seeking to be loved so desperately–to be totally blind to the love being poured out–the love of  the One who loves him most.

But we were and often still are like that. We live oblivious to the love of the Father–thinking that no one loves us when in reality, He so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whosoever believed would have everlasting life with Him.

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When I first started practicing law, my mentor told me to write everything down after speaking to a client or another attorney. I nodded and smiled to myself knowing that I didn’t need to write every little thing down. I had a great memory!

A few years down the pike and some years of practice under my belt . . . and the birth of my child – and well, getting older, I started to see what he meant about writing things down.

Today, I write everything down – even so, I forget.

My relationship with God is no exception to this memory loss issue. I need to remember to remember God.

Sometimes, I can be in the midst of my trouble or trial, and I forget that I have a God who loves me–who is near to me–who will never leave or forsake me. I find myself acting as if I am in this trouble alone.

When I finally remember, I feel foolish. How could I forget about God?

My solution? I try to keep God always on my mind.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 says to pray without ceasing. In other words, keep a constant connection to God through prayer.

Remember to remember God. It will make a difference in how you handle life’s challenges.

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