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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Inspired by . . . A Season in Scripture VIII


A Psalm. Oh sing to the LORD a new song, for He has done marvelous things! His right hand and His holy arm have worked salvation for Him. 
   The LORD has made known His salvation; He has revealed His righteousness in the sight of the nations. 
   He has remembered His steadfast love and faithfulness to the house of Israel. 
   All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. 
   Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises! Sing praises to the LORD with the lyre, with the lyre and the sound of melody! With trumpets and the sound of the horn make a joyful noise before the King, the LORD! 
   Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; the world and those who dwell in it! Let the rivers clap their hands; let the hills sing for joy together before the LORD, for He comes to judge the earth. 
   He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity. (Psa 98:1-9)

Psalm 98 reads like a Christmas song to me this morning. Maybe it's just me or maybe its because this time of year every song seems to say, "Merry Christmas"

Or, perhaps, its because these verses reveal the very heart of what we are waiting for, what we are celebrating this time of the year.

Jesus is the marvelous thing that the Lord has done! For us! 

The little baby boy is His righteousness revealed! For us!

In the arrival of the Magi we see that, indeed, all the ends of the earth have seen this salvation.

And then the singing begins! The first CHRISTmas carols! Songs of the season are fun, in fact, Silver Bells is one of my favorites, but the true carols of CHRISTmas feed our souls even as our raised voices bring Him honor and glory!

Even the little boy with the drum knew that he stood before the King. He gave Jesus his best. In all our comings and goings this season, let us remember to do the same.


Shalom,


The series:
A Season in Scripture I
A Season in Scripture II
A Season in Scripture III 
A Season in Scripture IV

A Season in Scripture V 
A Season in Scripture VI

A Season in Scripture VII


Sharing inspiration here:
Testimony Tuesday, #TellHisStory,
Faith On Fire, Grace & Truth,
Inspire Me Monday, RaRa Link Up, Intentional Tuesday,
#WordswithWinter, Titus 2 Tuesday, Thoughtful Thursdays,
Encourage Me Monday, Wholehearted Wednesday,
Women with Intention Wednesdays, Word Filled Wednesday,
#GiveMeGrace, Sitting Among Friends, #Glimpsesofhisbeauty
Counting My Blessings, Grace Moments, Heart Encouragement
#DanceWithJesus

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Inspired by . . . A Season in Scripture VII


Scripture Pictures

For 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. Of the increase of His government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over His kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this. (Isa 9:6-7)

I can't read this scripture without the measure of Handel's Messiah accompanying the words in my mind. The wonderment of these verses makes it difficult to remain silent. How the earth must have struggled not to bloom under the feet of our Lord!

If we, mere humans, can feel thus about the Gift, imagine what moved the heart of the Giver.

The scripture tells us: "The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this."

The Hebrew word is qin'âh and can also be translated as jealousy. Now please do not be confused. God is not jealous OF us, He is jealous FOR us. We are His and He is ours and He is determined that nothing shall come between us.

Webster clarifies this a bit with his definition of zeal: fervor or ardor for a person or cause


God's love for us is a jealous love. Hannah Hurnard describes it this way:
Love is beautiful but it is also terrible - terrible in its determination to allow nothing blemished or unworthy to remain in the beloved.
Christ is the personification of God's terrible love for us. He is the instrument by which everything blemished is healed and everything unworthy is made honorable.

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!


Shalom,

The series:
A Season in Scripture I
A Season in Scripture II
A Season in Scripture III 
A Season in Scripture IV

A Season in Scripture V 
A Season in Scripture VI




Sharing inspiration here:
Testimony Tuesday, #TellHisStory,
Faith On Fire, Grace & Truth,
Inspire Me Monday, RaRa Link Up, Intentional Tuesday,
#WordswithWinter, Titus 2 Tuesday, Thoughtful Thursdays,
Encourage Me Monday, Wholehearted Wednesday,
Women with Intention Wednesdays, Word Filled Wednesday,
#GiveMeGrace, Sitting Among Friends, #Glimpsesofhisbeauty
Counting My Blessings, Grace Moments, Heart Encouragement
#DanceWithJesus

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Inspired by . . . A Season in Scripture VI



Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel. Butter and honey shall He eat, that He may know to refuse the evil and choose the good. (Isa 7:14-15)

Isaiah 7:14 is probably the best-known prophecy concerning the birth of the Messiah. Yet what feeds my soul this morning are the preceding verses. What the "therefore" is there for.

Here in Isaiah chapter seven, we find King Ahaz and the city of Jerusalem besieged. Scripture tells us, "the king and people shook like forest trees shaking in the wind."

Now before you feel too sorry for King Ahaz the backstory here, given to us in 2 Ch 28:5, is that they were in this situation because of their sin. They had forsaken the Lord their God and God, in His sovereignty, had given them over to their enemies. 

King Ahaz was a wicked man. Yet he was of the house of David and as such, an heir to the Promise.

So here it is in the preceding verses of Isaiah seven that we see not only the foretelling of God's grace and mercy to mankind but we witness His grace and mercy to one, wicked, individual. 

God sends the prophet Isaiah to encourage King Ahaz. He tells him that those who have laid siege to Jerusalem will never rule. He tells the quaking king, "Have firm faith, or you will fail to stand firm."

This is God's mercy on King Ahaz and the kingdom of Judah.

But God doesn't stop there. God also extends grace to the king. 


Remember, King Ahaz had forsaken God. Instead of serving and trusting in the Lord, he worships idols and other gods. He relies on the strength of man to help him rather than the Lord. God knows this. He knows Ahaz has no faith to believe in the prophecy.

So God goes beyond mercy and graciously offers King Ahaz confirmation of the prophecy by a sign of the king's choosing. How does the King respond?

He rudely refuses God's offer! He would rather persist in his unbelief that be beholden to God.

God reveals His plan to save all of mankind to a faithless, rebellious king in the midst of a besieged city.  Seems a bit odd, doesn't it? A bit pathetic maybe? What's the point?

God. God is the point. God's character, the truth of Who He IS.

This is what speaks to my soul this morning.

His immeasurable grace and mercy. His sovereignty over all.

It is revealed in this passage of scripture as He looks down from heaven on His city, Jerusalem. Besieged because of sin.

It is revealed 700 years later as He looks down from heaven on a lowly manger in Bethlehem.

It is revealed today as He looks down from heaven and continues to extend His grace to a world still besieged by sin, content to persist in their unbelief.

It will be revealed one day soon when He comes down from heaven to rule and reign in Glory.

Let us sit quietly, savoring these truths and cherishing Him as we wait.


Shalom,



The entire series:
A Season in Scripture I
A Season in Scripture II
A Season in Scripture III 
A Season in Scripture IV

A Season in Scripture V










Sharing inspiration here:
Testimony Tuesday, #TellHisStory,
Faith On Fire, Grace & Truth,
Inspire Me Monday, RaRa Link Up, Intentional Tuesday,
#WordswithWinter, Titus 2 Tuesday, Thoughtful Thursdays,
Encourage Me Monday, Wholehearted Wednesday,
Women with Intention Wednesdays, Word Filled Wednesday,
#GiveMeGrace, Sitting Among Friends, #Glimpsesofhisbeauty
Counting My Blessings, Grace Moments, Heart Encouragement
#DanceWithJesus