receive My King…

2 Corinthians 5.15

For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and He died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for Him who for their sake died and was raised. 2 Corinthians 5:14-15

Today’s devotion spoke of commitment. A topic outside of what we normally see during the Advent season but what a Wonderful God He is to always giving us opportunity to pause and savor His Word!

The devotion began by speaking of God’s commitment to mankind and specifically the  “it is finished” work of Jesus on the cross. What love demonstrated that we might have intimate, personal relationship, and communion with the Father!

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:16-17

 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.” John 10:18

In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 4:10

No greater commitment has ever been made or demonstrated! Praise, honor, and glory to His Name for He is worthy!!! Oh my, how I love God loving me!

But then the devotion made a switch, it was like being blind sided. It began to speak of my love for and my commitment to God using the verse above,and He died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves.”

For many this is a shock for we enter into this world being told it’s all about me, myself, and I. I can hear someone saying, ‘I thought Christmas pointed to Jesus but with me in mind. I just don’t know if it’s going to be easy to receive a gift that calls me to no longer live for self because I love me, first and foremost. Don’t be shocked, I’m not the only one. Just look around in this world. It is so self-centered and self-focused. You know the question, “what have you done for me lately?”  Self-exalting. Self-indulgent. Self-centered. Selfish.  Are you telling me that when I sing “Joy to the Word, the Lord is come, let earth receive her King” that I am proclaiming Jesus as King and Ruler of MY life? That “Let every heart prepare Him room” actually means room in MY heart? Are you wanting me to believe that every heart that dies to self is a heart that will sing?

Yes! Why do our hearts sing? Because when we die to self and make room in our hearts for the King of kings, we are set free from the bondage of satan, sin, and self. We are free to love, live, and serve the Savior of our souls who has “delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” Yes, my friend, this freedom in Christ will cause your heart to sing and desire to devote, commit, and dedicate your life to Jesus!

Yes, Lord! You are worthy of my love and my commitment. My life belongs to You and for this I am glad and give you the praise.

When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. Mark 8:34

1-john-4-10

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

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Hope for today: Shout for joy to God

HopeShout for joy to God, all the earth; 2 sing the glory of his name; give to Him glorious praise!
Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds! So great is your power that your enemies come cringing to you.
All the earth worships you and sings praises to you; they sing praises to your name.” Selah  Psalm 66:1-4

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

Let the peoples praise You, O God

Psalm 67.3

God be merciful to us and bless us,
And cause His face to shine upon us, Selah
That Your way may be known on earth,
Your salvation among all nations.

Let the peoples praise You, O God;
Let all the peoples praise You.
Oh, let the nations be glad and sing for joy!
For You shall judge the people righteously,
And govern the nations on earth. Selah

Let the peoples praise You, O God;
Let all the peoples praise You.
Then the earth shall yield her increase;
God, our own God, shall bless us.
God shall bless us,
And all the ends of the earth shall fear Him.
Psalm 67

Psalm 145.10

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Hope for today: the blessed man

HopeBlessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. Psalm 1:1-3

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

The Word became flesh

John 1.14a

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to reign over us.’ Luke 19:14

 Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever.” Revelation 11:15

From yesterday: “I so enjoyed my devotional this morning. Another Tozer one…he wrote about being asked his thoughts on this question: if Jesus was to come to earth today, would this present generation would be glad and any more accepting of Jesus’ arrival than the people were 2,000 years ago.”

Thanks so much to all who pondered this question. Bless you for leaving your comments as well. Tozer discussed the fact that when Jesus came many knew that “following Him would call for abrupt and drastic changes in their patterns of living. The proud and selfish aspects of their lives would have been disturbed.” He also spoke to the financial impact on those who stepped out and followed Jesus along with a disdain for a true spiritual life. Tozer felt that the response to Jesus in flesh would be no different today than it was over 2,000 years ago.

I am in agreement for most love themselves too much to allow anyone to be Lord of their lives. What they fail to realize is that their money, pride, and self-exaltation and indulgence is doing just that. The Lord is faithful and provided in my news feed a post from Lifeway’s Facts and Trends released on yesterday which included an article titled, “Away With the Manger: More Americans Look for a Secular Christmas.”

The Facts and Trends post referenced the latest Pew Research survey which confirms the sad condition of the times in which we live. The Pew Research study can be found at this link: http://www.pewforum.org/2017/12/12/americans-say-religious-aspects-of-christmas-are-declining-in-public-life/.

I pray you will find time to read at least a portion and be spurred on by the Spirit of the Living God to be faithful to His instructions as we interact with others during this time of CHRISTmas celebration. It is important because we know the end of the story and whether any man opposes or not as the Revelation verse tells us above, He shall reign forever and ever.”

“And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20

Revelation 11.15

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

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Hope for today: None like the Lord

HopeThus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: “I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.
Who is like me? Let him proclaim it. Let him declare and set it before me, since I appointed an ancient people. Let them declare what is to come, and what will happen.
Fear not, nor be afraid;
have I not told you from of old and declared it?

And you are my witnesses!

Is there a God besides me?
There is no Rock; I know not any.”
Isaiah 44:6-8

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

Jesus and today…

Luke 19.14

11 Now as they heard these things, He spoke another parable, because He was near Jerusalem and because they thought the kingdom of God would appear immediately. 12 Therefore He said: “A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return. 13 So he called ten of his servants, delivered to them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Do business till I come.’ 14 But his citizens hated him, and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We will not have this man to reign over us.’ Luke 19:11-14

I so enjoyed my devotional this morning. Another Tozer one…he wrote about being asked his thoughts on this question: if Jesus was to come to earth today, would this present generation would be glad and any more accepting of Jesus’ arrival than the people were 2,000 years ago? Selah, pause and ponder. Feel free to respond in the comments. Please leave your thoughts around your response as well.

I’ll share my own and Tozer’s on tomorrow since I do not want to put thoughts in anyone’s head. 🙂

 

I rather have Jesus

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

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Hope for today: magnify the Lord

Hope46 And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48 for He has looked on the humble estate of His servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; 49 for He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name.
50 And his mercy is for those who fear Him from generation to generation.
Luke 1:46-50

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

Mary betrothed to Joseph…

Matthew 1.21a

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. 20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”

24 Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, 25 and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus.  Matthew 1:18-25

Certainly, Joseph’s story is one to be pondered. The woman you are engaged to marry, who you have not touched, has just told you something that you never thought you would hear at this point in time. She’s pregnant. How could that be, after all you know for a fact that there is no way the child could be yours? To add insult to injury, she has told you some story about an angel appearing with a declaration that she was highly favored and the child she is carrying would be called the Son of the Most High. And of course, this is because of the Holy Spirit and the power of the Most High…nothing is impossible for God. Surely, she could come up with a better story than this one.

Nothing is impossible for God but one thing for sure, it is impossible for me to marry her… but no matter what she has done, in my heart I know that I cannot see her stoned as an adulterer. There has to be a way to handle this privately. There has to be a way to avoid the public shame and mocking…for her, and for me.

I can only imagine how Joseph’s head must have been twirling in the midst of his heart hurting! I am sure the twirling and hurting continued until he was exhausted and laid down to sleep…and then an angel appears to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins….24 Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, 25 and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name JesusMatthew 1:18-25

My, my, my…from questions, doubts, fears, developing his plan…Joseph wakes up with an heart of obedience. He follows the command of the Lord and takes Mary as his wife. Lord, I’m going to walk according to Your Word.

He watches over and cares for Mary allowing the Lord to lead them all the way. When Mary’s child was ready to enter the world Joseph was right there and once again obedient unto the Lord. Joseph named the child, Jesus, for He would save His people from their sins.

I don’t know of any clearer example of Proverbs 3:5-6,Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”

May God help us to surrender to His will even we don’t understand just as Joseph did. Help me anyway, as self will get in the way of surrendering to God. It usually takes a little more than time than overnight. 🙂

Matthew 1.25b

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

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Hope for today: Prince of Peace

HopeFor to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. John 14:27

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus. Romans 5:1

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior