If you want to truly appreciate the New Testament you’ve got to begin in the Old.
Jesus is written on every page, revealed in increasing measure in every story.
From Genesis to Revelation, God the Father displays His purpose, plan and passion for His children.
The ultimate unveiling is Immanuel-God with us.
Read the rest here: Advent: Glory, Mercy and Truth
I admit it-patience is not my strong suit.
I’m a person of action rather than deliberation.
Sometimes that gets me into trouble. Almost always it makes me intolerant of delays.
So I have to be very, very careful not to apply my impatience to God’s timing.
Read the rest here: Advent: Right On Time
It’s tempting to line up our friends and acquaintances in columns under headings of “perfect family”, “good christian”, “struggling addict” or “hopeless case”.
When I label someone I justify my response-good or bad-and let myself off the hook for sharing the extravagant, unrestrained love God has shown to me.
The longer I live, the more people I meet, the more certain I am that the neat little categories we like to use are not very helpful.
If I decide they are “doing well” then they don’t need my help.
And if I decide they are “beyond hope” then why waste my time or effort?
Either way, I’m wrong.
Christmas is the story of God come down-Emmanuel-of Love reaching down into a dark and lonely world. It was hardly tidy, it was a Messy Christmas
I don’t know what the wise men expected to see.
It seems natural to us who know the story–who know the REST of the story–that they ended up finding Jesus-The King of the Jews-the One whose birth was announced by a star in a humble abode.
But I think it might have surprised those rich rulers traveling so far to worship Him.
Read the rest here: Advent: Extravagant Worship
My heart beats with Mary’s. She knew and understood part of what was going on but had no way to anticipate or comprehend precisely what it meant to be the mother of Messiah.
She pondered the shepherds’ visit and their story.
I’ve pondered too.
Read the rest here: Advent: Ponder and Praise
Hearts full to overflowing with pride, self-reliance, love of power and money can’t find room for a message that suggests they might need saving.
Empty hearts, hopeless hearts, worn, weary and desperate hearts are hungry to hear that help is on the way.
Maybe that’s why God sent a most spectacular birth announcement to shepherds who were considered the lowest of the low.
Read the rest here: Advent: Unlikely Messengers
I’m not privy to everything God is doing in the world. And, frankly, what I see sometimes looks like He’s not doing much. I want Him to step in and make things right according to my limited knowledge.
But He’s working behind the scenes in ways I can’t imagine or comprehend.
He has a purpose and plan that will not be thwarted.
I do not for one moment believe that God Took My Child. But I absolutely, positively believe that He is using what the enemy meant for evil to accomplish good.
Read the rest here: Advent: Behind The Scenes
Music has always reached a place in my heart when nothing else could get through.
And although the “songs” in Luke’s gospel aren’t set to a singable tune, I can hear the high notes accompanying the words.
The first words Zechariah spoke after his long months of silence were a beautiful celebration of who God is and what He was about to do.
Read the rest here: Advent: Our Hero God
A few times in my life I’ve been utterly overwhelmed by an outpouring of God’s grace and mercy.
And like David who danced before the Lord when the Ark was returned to Jerusalem, I simply can’t contain myself. I want to move my body in response to the rhythm of the good news.
So I understand Mary’s response to Elizabeth’s blessing.
Read the rest here: Advent: Dancing the Song of My Savior God
I imagine Mary held those words close to her heart over the next many months when whispers and sideways glances followed her everywhere.
I know I hold close the words the Lord has given me.
When I read Scripture, the Holy Spirit often quickens my spirit to take note and take hold of a verse or two. He whispers, “This one is for YOU”, to my heart.
I underline it, write it down, meditate on it, come back to it and rest in the truth that if God says it, it’s true.
Read the rest here: Advent: Highly Favored