December 2016 Passages
Beautiful Memory Verse for this Christmas Season and always…
"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is Godʼs will for you in Christ Jesus.”
In this Christmas Season...Very simply , our peace alone rests in Him.
"For he himself is our peace, "
Our true Christmas gift was wrapped in swaddling clothes. Our gift is He who strengthens us to reject worldly gifts.
"I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,”
Just imagine how it would be to see God on His throne. Isaiah did.
"In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.”
All of us,young and older, are called. What will be our answer?
"Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!””
Signs of Jesus are all around us. Immanuel - 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.”
Our light for challenges, frustrations, and sadness -the birth of Christ Jesus.
"Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. He will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan— The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.”
The weight of everything we carry is lifted. Jesus our go-to in all circumstances.
"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.”
There is hope as foretold many times in Isaiah, the birth of our Lord. Today that same hope exists.
"A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him— the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord —”
His Grace is sufficient…
"But now, this is what the Lord says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.”
We are not alone not matter what is happening .
"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”
Jesus, our healing medicine and our freedom.
"The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord ʼs favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn,”
Our beauty and joy in Him is beyond what we see with our eyes and feel with our bodies. Planted in Him we are strong and majestic . The second half of yesterday's scripture.
"to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.”
Jesus knew in the beginning He would come to earth as a man to suffer and die that we might live. Hallelujah!
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.”
Luke's Gospel begins with the foretelling of the birth of John the Baptist.
"In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lordʼs commands and decrees blamelessly. But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old.”
Even though Zechariah and Elizabeth are very old, the birth of John the Baptist will happen. In Gods will the desires of our hearts are fulfilled in His time and his terms.
"Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth,”
Imagine being told by an angel you are highly favored by the most high. What thoughts strike you? How do you feel? Imagine how it was for Mary...16 years old...
"In the sixth month of Elizabethʼs pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virginʼs name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.””
To know you are given tremendous responsibility by God . How do you respond?
"But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacobʼs descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.””
When you ask God, believe God can. Requests to Him in His will are conceived by the Holy Spirit.
"How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.”
Being full of the Holy Spirit allows us to know the truth.
"When Elizabeth heard Maryʼs greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!”
Blessed also are we; when we believe. The Lord will fulfill His promises to us.
"Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!””
Song of Praise and Thanksgiving. Mary sang this during her visit with Elizabeth.
"And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me— holy is his name. His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.”
Have you ever had in mind to do something a certain way and then have your mind changed? Imagine Joseph's situation..
"This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.””
God always keeps His promises.. always... Merry Christmas Eve!
"All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).”
"Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.””
To the shepherds there was hope and desire to seek the baby Jesus. Has this Christmas awakened in you a renewed hope in Him and desire to seek Him?
"When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Letʼs go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.””
Our God is personal; knowing us intimately.
"You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely.”
We are sown in the fabric of our Lord, snug, warm, and protected.
"You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.”
In a world where we can sometimes feel alone and not heard , know there is always One who listens and answers.
"Hear my prayer, Lord; listen to my cry for mercy. When I am in distress, I call to you, because you answer me.”
Pray this Psalm verse when selfish desires or the drama of life wants control.
"Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.”
Forgiveness is more than a moment in time. It is a journey.
"Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”