December 2018 Passages

December 1, 2018

In preparing our hearts and minds for Christmas remember that Jesus came to live among us to share His good news and to give hope for His second coming.

For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.  It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,
Titus 2:11-13 NIV

December 2, 2018

We all know the saying "I can finally put a face to a name."  The birth of Jesus is how we can best understand the image of an invisible God.

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
Colossians 1:15 NIV

December 3, 2018

Jesus was born to give us a glimpse of who our creator is and that we are made for him and for his purpose to bring him Glory.

For in Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through Him and for Him.
Colossians 1:16 NIV

December 4, 2018

Christmas parties and gift giving are a  wonderful part of celebrating Jesus as King and a gift from Him to us is, in Him we are held together.

He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
Colossians 1:17 NIV

December 6, 2018

What a huge Christmas gift Jesus is!  So elated, thrilled, and over the moon for you that He was born to personally rescue you from certain death.

For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him.
Colossians 1:19 NIV

December 7, 2018

May Christmas time warm your heart to know all our wrongs are washed clean, forgiven by Him who came to make peace and give peace.

"… and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross."
Colossians 1:20 NIV

December 8, 2018

When fear and doubt plague your mind remember centuries before people saw, touched, and witnessed the awesome power of our God in Jesus.  Born that we might believe.

He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds?  Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”
Luke 24:38-39 NIV

December 9, 2018

Often we understand and believe we will be rescued.  The question becomes when?   God hears our prayers and our pleas.  Yet, for God to fast forward to give us what we want when we want it could preclude us from an awesome treasure hidden in the fire.

How long, Lord, will you look on?  Rescue me from their ravages, my precious life from these lions.
Psalm 35:17 NIV

December 10, 2018

There was no pomp and circumstance.  No royal robes or throne.  Yet to us is born, a Holy King, in lowly conditions to lead His wondering, desperate, frightened, broken people home to eternal life with him.

He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground.  He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
Isaiah 53:2 NIV

December 11, 2018

A gift this Christmas for someone or a group difficult to like or work with is to submit to Jesus asking him to show you what He sees in them to change perspective, open up discussion, bring respect and peace.

He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples.  They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.  Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.
Isaiah 2:4 NIV

December 12, 2018

Christmas reminds us why Jesus came.  We will be rewarded greatly when we resist the temptation to conform to the culture of today that defies his laws.

Tell the righteous it will be well with them, for they will enjoy the fruit of their deeds.
Isaiah 3:10 NIV

December 14, 2018

In God's goodness he gives us signs to build our faith, look toward his promises, and show His faithfulness.  Quieting ourselves and paying attention gives opportunity to see and believe.

Yet this is what the Sovereign Lord says: “It will not take place, it will not happen."   Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
Isaiah 7:7, 14 NIV

December 15, 2018

Jesus, King of Kings and Lord of Lords brings light to this dark world.  Pray to Him for our country and our world that is in such distress, chaos, deceit, and at war.

Distressed and hungry, they will roam through the land; when they are famished, they will become enraged and, looking upward, will curse their king and their God.  Then they will look toward the earth and see only distress and darkness and fearful gloom, and they will be thrust into utter darkness.
Isaiah 8:21-22 NIV

December 16, 2018

The promise of Christmas; the King of Kings born through the imperfect lineage of human beings to live with his people and prove his faithfulness.

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
Isaiah 11:1 NIV

December 17, 2018

The Spirit of the Lord that rests on Jesus is wrapped in Mercy, bound with Grace, and individually addressed to you.

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.
Isaiah 11:2 NIV

December 18, 2018

Human judgement and knowledge is limited, jaded, and flawed.  Thankfully, our gift from Jesus is Mercy and Grace.

"and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.  He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears.
Isaiah 11:3 NIV

December 19, 2018

Jesus best knows what to do to handle anything that comes our way.  If we are open, He will freely tell us how to manage our lives, relationships, and what to do in any situation.  Our job is to receive, trust, and execute.

But with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.  He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
Isaiah 11:4 NIV

December 21, 2018

Our perception without prayer can lead to decisions apart from God's plan.  We know the end of this story - but Joseph was living it moment by moment as we are living God's plan for us.

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.
Matthew 1:18-19 NIV

December 22, 2018

At the fork in the road of making a decision, prayer is the beginning of obedience.  An open heart and mind allows for clarity in direction to take.

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.”
Matthew 1:20-21 NIV

December 23, 2018

About 700 years before the birth of Christ, God revealed to Isaiah the sign that was for all people... a Savior to be born to save his people.  Signs from God can result in immediate unfolding of the plan, but often it is a process requiring patience and faith.

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”).
Matthew 1:22-23 NIV

December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas!

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.   Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end.  He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.  The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.
Isaiah 9:6-7 NIV

December 28, 2018

Detours in life may seem inconvenient or even frustrating, but like Joseph as he protected his family we can see these are part of God's plan and can be necessary.

After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.”
Matthew 2:19-20 NIV

December 29, 2018

Paying attention is crucial because though you may exhale thinking all is clear, an adjustment to the plan may need to be made as seen with Joseph being warned to change gear yet again.

So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel.  But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there.  Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth.  So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets, that he would be called a Nazarene.
Matthew 2:21-23 NIV

December 31, 2018

You are part of His Kingdom!  As you allow God to work in you shining through the brokenness, the Kingdom becomes evident to others around you.

“The time has come,” he said.  “The kingdom of God has come near.  Repent and believe the good news!”
Mark 1:15 NIV

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