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

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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

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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

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

Wisdom Wednesday

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Blessings today! I am so blessed and thankful for this season of Advent as it really does help me keep my heart and mind focused on my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Our focus today is peace. I looked back to a Wisdom Wednesday of last year praying that the Lord would once again give us Selah and worship moments. In this world of chaos may we seek He who is the Prince of Peace.

Blessings to you and let’s celebrate CHRISTmas!

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How will this be?

Luke 1.34a

26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” 29 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. 30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

34 And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”
Luke 1:26-34

There is just so much encouragement in these verses…so much to “Selah, pause and ponder.” So much amazement and wonder of the Living God who loves and is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us (Ephesians 3:20).

What was God doing? Loving sinful man who rejected Him as God. The Holy, Righteous, Pure, and Perfect God whose eyes are so pure that they cannot not even look upon evil and cannot look at wrong (Habakkuk 1:13a), places Himself inside of a sinful teenage girl to come to earth and take the sins of man upon Himself (2 Corinthians 5:21) to pay the wage of sin which is death (Romans 6:23). In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins (1 John 4:10).

Gabriel appears to Mary to tell her that she is the blessed and highly favored by God to birth the Savior of the world. He assures her that the Lord is with her. I will be forever amazed at the simplicity of her response: “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”

You see, I know my response (especially at her age) would have been more like “I don’t know who you are or where you come from but this is not funny. God does not like ugly and how dare you you pretend to bring a word from him.” But not Mary…which shows us her relationship with the Lord and how God had prepared her for this moment of His blessing and favor.

35 And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. 36 And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.”

God has spoken and it is enough! Mary’s response:

38 And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. Luke 1:26-38

This brings encouragement for the same God who called Mary and blessed her with this glorious assignment still calls and assigns man to His work. Just as nothing was impossible in Mary’s day, “nothing will be impossible with God” today for the callings and assignments He gives to us. We must not be afraid for we too are blessed and highly favored of the Lord to be His children, servants, and displays of His glory in the mission of Jesus to seek and save the lost. May we walk in the courage and faith that Mary demonstrates to us.

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10).”

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Hope for today: Come, Lord Jesus!

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17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.

18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. 19 And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.

20 He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”

Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen. Revelation 22:17-21

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

He has done it!

Psalm 22.22

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
    Why are you so far from saving me,
    so far from my cries of anguish?
My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
    by night, but I find no rest.

Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;
    you are the one Israel praises.
In you our ancestors put their trust;
    they trusted and you delivered them.
To you they cried out and were saved;
    in you they trusted and were not put to shame.

But I am a worm and not a man,
    scorned by everyone, despised by the people.
All who see me mock me;
    they hurl insults, shaking their heads.
“He trusts in the Lord,” they say,
    “let the Lord rescue him.
Let him deliver him,
    since he delights in him.”

Yet you brought me out of the womb;
    you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast.
10 From birth I was cast on you;
    from my mother’s womb you have been my God.

11 Do not be far from me,
    for trouble is near
    and there is no one to help.

12 Many bulls surround me;
    strong bulls of Bashan encircle me.
13 Roaring lions that tear their prey
    open their mouths wide against me.
14 I am poured out like water,
    and all my bones are out of joint.
My heart has turned to wax;
    it has melted within me.
15 My mouth is dried up like a potsherd,
    and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth;
    you lay me in the dust of death.

16 Dogs surround me,
    a pack of villains encircles me;
    they pierce my hands and my feet.
17 All my bones are on display;
    people stare and gloat over me.
18 They divide my clothes among them
    and cast lots for my garment.

19 But you, Lord, do not be far from me.
    You are my strength; come quickly to help me.
20 Deliver me from the sword,
    my precious life from the power of the dogs.
21 Rescue me from the mouth of the lions;
    save me from the horns of the wild oxen.

22 I will declare your name to my people;
    in the assembly I will praise you.
23 You who fear the Lord, praise him!
    All you descendants of Jacob, honor him!
    Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!
24 For he has not despised or scorned
    the suffering of the afflicted one;
he has not hidden his face from him
    but has listened to his cry for help.

25 From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly;
    before those who fear you I will fulfill my vows.
26 The poor will eat and be satisfied;
    those who seek the Lord will praise him—
    may your hearts live forever!

27 All the ends of the earth
    will remember and turn to the Lord,
and all the families of the nations
    will bow down before him,
28 for dominion belongs to the Lord
    and he rules over the nations.

29 All the rich of the earth will feast and worship;
    all who go down to the dust will kneel before him—
    those who cannot keep themselves alive.
30 Posterity will serve him;
    future generations will be told about the Lord.
31 They will proclaim his righteousness,
    declaring to a people yet unborn:
    He has done it!

 

John 1:29

 

 

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Hope for today: Savior

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Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:

23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
    and they shall call his name Immanuel”

(which means, God with us). 24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus. Matthew 1:18-25

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Glory to God in the highest

Luke 2.14

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” Luke 2:13-14 ESV

Today’s devotional encouraged the reader to not lose the wonder of the glory and greatest of God. The God who loves us so much that in His sovereign grace “He did not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.” (Psalm 103:10)

The writer urged me not to become so familiar with this greatest story ever told that I forget just how precious it is to the soul of man. God’s just response to our rebellion, sin, rejection would be for God to take us at our word and agree with our desire to be our own gods. BUT GOD knew that would leave us separated from Him, walking in darkness, receivers of His wrath, and citizens of hell.

God knew that the only God himself, the one we turned our backs on, could meet our need and ransom our souls. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
God in flesh, come to save us from our sin. “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!”

And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying,

“Worthy are you to take the scroll
    and to open its seals,
for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
    from every tribe and language and people and nation,
10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
    and they shall reign on the earth.”

11 Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice,

“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might
and honor and glory and blessing!”

13 And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying,

“To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”

14 And the four living creatures said, “Amen!”
and the elders fell down and worshiped.
  Revelation 5:8-11 ESV

Revelation 5.12

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