On Wings Of Eagles

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Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Happy New Year!

Psalm 65:11 (ESV)
You crown the year with your bounty;
    your wagon tracks overflow with abundance.

Happy New Year! That’s how many of us will greet each other on the first day of a new year. Perhaps you’ve already said that to a family member or friend.

But we need much more than a casual greeting as we stand at the beginning of a new year. We need to know that also in this coming year someone greater than any ruler of any nation is in control—not only of our lives but also of the course of history. Psalm 46 reminds us that in the midst of the many uncertainties in life the God of heaven and earth is in complete control.

The psalmist does not make false promises. He does not guarantee that things will go our way. He does not tell us that this new year will bring peace and prosperity. He does not promise the end of persecution and poverty. He makes clear that “nations are in uproar” and there will be desolation and destruction. Nations will fall, and rulers will come and go. But, come what may, God will be in charge. He will be “our refuge and strength.”

How do we know? One week ago we celebrated the birth of our Lord Jesus, the day on which the Son of God “moved into the neighborhood”. His coming is our guarantee that God will always be our “ever-present help in trouble.”

Dear Lord, thank You for a new year, and thank You for Your promise to be our refuge and strength; because of Jesus.  In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Monday, December 30, 2019

New Year's list-making

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. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

Are you a gamer? Do you Wii? XBox? Head shots? Angry Birds? If you're reading this on a computer screen, odds are you've at least dabbled and you've likely resolved either to a) spend less time playing in the new year or b) finally beat that game that's been kicking your tail.

Here's one thing that makes gaming so addictive: You get to start over. Every time. Whether you've played the level once or repeatedly, you start again and again with a clean slate. Maybe this time you'll be perfect.

It's that performance impulse that drives our New Year's list-making. "Yeah, I know I did not achieve the ideal last year. I was not the person I wanted to be morally or fiscally or socially or spiritually. But I'm about to start a new level. Maybe this time will be different. Maybe I'll be perfect."

Here's the first problem: God doesn't call us to fine-tune ourselves into better and better examples of the human machine, even the Christian human machine.

Second: If we are in Christ, He says he's already fixed us. "The new is here!" The game's been won. All the levels have been beat. Instead of trying to life-hack ourselves into perfection, God calls us to live in the new us he has already made.

It's not about the lists; Paul loved making lists of how Christ-changed people live. (See Colossians 3:1-17 if you're still looking for list ideas.) What it's about is power and focus: You already have God's power; what will you focus it on this year? Who will you "just live" for?

Dear Lord, help us to live as the new creation that You are making us into this year. Help us to in Your resolve to live for You. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

The three doves

Job 12:7 (ESV)
But ask the beasts, and they will teach you;
    the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you;

Here is a fun story to show the power we have in Jesus Name.

 An office park doesn’t seem like a nice place to call home. But this was no ordinary collection of buildings. Each three story glass building was surrounded by native shrubbery and flowers. A stream ran between the buildings connecting several small lakes. A walkway flanked by towering Magnolia trees linked each building with the others. Patches of Pin Oak and Crape Myrtle trees made this a paradise for the three doves that lived there.

Their names were Ashley, Jacey and Tilly. With all the seeds, insects and plants nearby, they never strayed far from their favorite tree. But on one particularly beautiful day, they decided to sun themselves on the little bridge in the center of the office park.

“What do you want to do today?” asked Jacey.“Do?” replied Ashley. “Can’t we just enjoy the warmth of the sun?”“I agree with Ashley,” said Tilly. “Let’s just enjoy the day that God gave us!” They all laughed.

Up above a hawk was making slow circles looking for dinner. The doves had not noticed him. In fact most of the birds were busy hunting food and were not paying attention at all.

The Blue Jays were the first to notice the danger. They began shouting among themselves to get their young back into the safety of the trees. Since the noise was behind them, the doves ignored it. “Wouldn’t it be great to enjoy the sun without the Blue Jays making all that racket?” asked Ashley as she closed her eyes and stretched her neck.

The other doves cooed in agreement. Ashley opened her eyes just in time to see the hawks shadow below the doves. The others were looking away. “Everybody fly!” shouted Ashley. All three doves shot off the bridge and dove down to gain some speed. As their parents had taught, they immediately split off in three directions, hoping the hawk would not be able to focus on just one bird. But this hawk was a veteran. He locked on Tilly and followed her every turn.

The doves had been out in the open and too far to reach the safety of trees. Tilly could hear the hawk behind her and knew she could not outfly him. Instead, she would try to lose him by the office buildings.

She made a sharp turn around one building and snuck a peek back to see the hawk right on her tail. She made another quick turn and everything went black.

Ashley and Jacey made it back to the safety of their Pin Oak. They waited for several minutes, but Tilly did not return. They knew exactly what they had to do. They closed their eyes and thanked God for protecting their friend. Just as they finished, Tilly arrived and landed next to them. She was a little ruffled, but safe.

“You will not believe what happened!” said Tilly. Tilly did not even give the others a chance to ask. “We all separated, but the hawk kept following me,” explained Tilly. “I thought I could lose him by the office buildings, but I turned without looking and ran into the glass. When I woke up, I was flat on my back.

Ashley and Jacey looked at each other and back at Tilly. “What happened to the hawk?” asked Jacey. “I guess when I turned, he pulled away. When I woke up, there were some birds chasing him away. I was a sitting duck if those Blue Jays had not been after him.”

“That is wonderful,” said Ashley. “We’re so glad you are safe.” “But that is not all that happened,” said Tilly. The doves were a little surprised, but waited for the rest of Tilly’s story. “When I woke up I was a little woozy. There was a human standing over me. He pointed at me and said, ‘In the name of Jesus, be healed!’ And then he just walked away.”

“Wow!” exclaimed Ashley. “He didn’t stay to see if you were well?” asked Jacey. “No, he just walked away. I guess he had enough faith to believe that whatever he says in the name of Jesus would happen,” explained Tilly. “The next thing I knew my vision cleared and I wasn’t dizzy anymore. I rolled over and stood up. I tested my wings and everything was working fine. I just started praising God and flew here to find the two of you.”

“That is some bold faith,” said Jacey.

“Can you imagine what the world would be like if all humans had the faith to use the name of Jesus like that?” asked Tilly.

The next day the hawk was back circling overhead. But the three doves weren’t scared. They knew God had their back.

As a Christian, you have been given the name of Jesus to heal the sick and conquer all the power of the enemy. God has delegated His authority and power to those willing to believe in Jesus. But to effectively use the name of Jesus, you need to understand all the power behind that name and your right to use it. And remember, nothing is impossible if you believe!

Dear Lord, we thank You that we have been given the power of Your name and with it we can conquer all that comes our way.  In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Merry Christmas

Isaiah 9:6 (ESV)
6 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.

Each year we would load up the car and head out to the Christmas tree farm and pick out our tree.  After weighing everyone’s opinions, we would decide on the tree, tie the tree to the roof of our car, and make our way home. That night we would decorate our tree together as a family. After we adorned the tree with splendor, we would turn off all the lights, amazed as it shone brightly in the darkness.

I love these kinds of moments because I think as believers, we should be the most celebratory community on earth. We know all the good things that we enjoy and all the family love we experience are sweet and undeserved gifts from our Heavenly Father.

But I am concerned that we remember—and that we help our family remember—that while this beautiful holiday season is about a tree, it’s not about the decorated tree in your living room that you’ve so carefully adorned.

From the moment of his first breath, the life of that baby in the manger was marching toward a tree. It would not be a tree of beauty or celebration but of sacrifice and death. It would not stand in someone’s home as part of a seasonal tradition but would be outside the city walls on a hill of execution.

That baby wouldn’t stand before his tree and smile at its beauty but would be tortured on it, nailed between convicts. That tree on the hill was not a symbol of a season but an instrument of judgment. On that seemingly hopeless hill, that tree of death gave life and hope to humanity.

The Advent season tells a story that will take your breath away. It’s a story about inescapable need, a glorious incarnation, a substitutionary life, an atoning sacrifice, and a victorious resurrection. Only God could write such a story, and only God could complete the plot.

It’s a story meant to amaze us, humble us, capture us, rescue us, transform us, and cause us to live in wonder and worship. This story provides the only way you can make sense out of your identity and your real need. This story reveals where hope is to be found and points you to the meaning and purpose of your existence.

I love the seasonal stories of sleds, snowmen, gifts, and goodies. Nor do I stand in opposition to singing silly seasonal songs. What I am concerned about is that in the midst of such excitement decorating our Christmas tree, we forget about the Cross.

Make your Advent conversation about a tree, but not the one in your living room. Talk about how that baby in the manger came not to decorate a tree, but to hang on it for your salvation. Remind yourself and your family that in a world darkened by sin, that tree of sacrifice and salvation shines as a light of eternal hope that will never, ever go out.

Dear Lord, we thank You for Christmas and the amazing gift You gave to each of us. As we celebrate help us not forget the that You not only came as a baby but you died as a man and rose from the dead to take away our sins. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.  

Monday, December 23, 2019

We Three Kings

Matthew 2:1-2 (ESV)
1 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

We three kings of Orient are
Bearing gifts we traverse afar
Field and fountain, moor and mountain
Following yonder star

Born a king on Bethlehem’s plain
Gold I’ll bring to crown Him again
King forever, ceasing never
Over us all to reign

O star of wonder, star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding
Guide us to thy perfect Light

Glorious now behold Him arise
King and God and Sacrifice
Alleluia, alleluia
Sounds through the earth and skies

I’m gonna need, gonna need some perfect Light
I’m gonna need, gonna need some perfect Light
I’m gonna need it

Let your light shine, let your light
Let your light shine, let your light
Let your light shine, let your light
Let your light shine, let your light
Let your light shine, let your light (come on)
Let your light shine, let, let your light shine

Come on, guide us to thy perfect Light
Come on, guide us to thy perfect Light
We’re all gonna need, gonna need some perfect Light

So let your light shine, let your light
Let your light shine, let your light

I hope that your Christmas will be great and that it will be filled with joy, with love, with peace, with goodness, with patience, with kindness and with gentleness. This is the fruit of Christmas, not the presents or the meal, but how you should think, feel and act.

Jesus Christ came and taught us all a new way of living, giving us Christmas everyday. And Christmas can happen everyday. Sure December is a magical month, where there are surprises around every corner. In December, we see beautifully lit house, bands assembled in front of stores playing Christmas music, and decorations all around. All of these things draw us to the warmth of the holiday. Don’t you often feel a tug in your heart when you hear a Christmas carol played over the loud speaker at the grocery store?

But those things really aren’t Christmas, well it’s not fully Christmas, because Christmas is in you at all times; it’s Jesus.
Jesus is who you feel when you get excited about something “Christmasy.” And it’s that same Jesus who resides with you as you read this devotional.

As we walk closer and closer with Jesus, his light in us gets brighter. When we make regular choices to turn to him throughout our day, we join in on Christmas. When we allow him to guide our thoughts and actions, we keep Christmas alive for another day longer.

Jesus did not just come so that we may have eternal life; he also came so our life here could be richer and fuller. He knows how broken this world is and he knows he is the only remedy. While you may know Jesus and follow him, you can never get too close to him. As you pursue fully immersing your life into his love and tenderness, you will see Christmas everyday, and then you will become a beacon of hope for this dreary world as you let your light shine.

Dear Lord, we are utterly lost without You. Help us to grow in the Fruits of your Spirit, the joy, love, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. Lord, we need you and we need Your light to penetrate all areas of our life and our heart. In the Name of Jesus,  Amen.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

The First Noel

Luke 2:13-14 (ESV)
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!”

The First Noel, the Angels did say
Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay
In fields where they lay keeping their sheep
On a cold winter’s night that was so deep.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!
They looked up and saw a star
Shining in the East beyond them far
And to the earth it gave great light
And so it continued both day and night.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!
Then let us all with one accord
Sing praises to our heavenly Lord
That hath made Heaven and earth of nought
And with his blood mankind has bought.Sing praise
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

The word “noel” is a French word that refers to the Christmas season. The root of this word is a bit more obscure, though many believe that originally derived from the Latin word “natalis”, which means “birth”. Of course, we also see the influence of this Latin word, “natalis” and its reference to birth in our English vocabulary today, such as the term “prenatal” for a pregnancy, and “neonatal” to describe the care and study of babies.

In other words, “The First Noel” means essentially, “The First Birth”. Obviously, Jesus was not the first human being ever born, but in regards to the spiritual rebirth that we all experience upon entering into relationship and reconciliation with God, Jesus was the First Birth.

In his birth as a little, innocent baby that couldn’t even hold his head up, Jesus entered the world as a new model for human beings. The Christ child was free from the bondage of Adam’s failure, as Paul reminds us in Romans 5:12, “When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned.”

But in Jesus, a new path for human beings was established – the chance for our lives to change drastically and align more with the birth of that Christ child – new life, fresh and clean. This is why Paul also continues his thought in Romans 5:19, “Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous.”

Jesus is that obedient person. He experienced that First Birth, and lived it out successfully and with the utmost holiness.

But, what does this mean for us right now? Sometimes these thoughts feel very lofty and disconnected from our daily life – so how can this change the way we act and feel right now?

Put simply, God has created the avenue for a new chance at life, here and now, and eternal. All the things that we might hate about ourselves, or wish that we didn’t do, or carry deep regrets about – we need to know that God has a deep hope and vision that we can put those burdens down and step into the life of rebirth and renewal.

The purity of Jesus’ birth is a representation of the way that we too can experience in the loving grace of God. We aren’t doomed to the failures and mistakes of our past. No, we are destined to be new creatures with new sensibilities and plan for life, serving and worshiping God.

Christmas should be a reminder that we are never lost or forgotten by God, and that God doesn’t simply want us to settle, but instead, we should always strive for a deeper connection and understanding of who God is and what he’s done in our lives. Jesus birth reminds us powerfully of just how much God really loves us.

And he does. He really loves you, even as you read this. He loves you, and he wants you to be his little baby again, and be grown and raised by him into the child he wants you to be.

Dear Lord, we pray that we can all deeply feel Your love, and know that there is no weakness or shame in turning to You like a small child. We are lost, confused, dismayed, and usually do not know the right direction to turn. Lord, we pray that we might be able to let go of the pride that keeps us from fleeing into Your presence. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Majesty In A Manger

Psalm 145:18-19 (ESV)
18 The Lord is near to all who call on him,
    to all who call on him in truth.
19 He fulfills the desire of those who fear him;
    he also hears their cry and saves them.

Oh, what mystery, oh, what a love
From heaven to Bethlehem, lavished on us
All who are searching come follow the star
There in the stable the hope of our hearts
Come and see
Christ the King
His Majesty in a manger
Come adore
Christ the Lord
His Majesty in a manger
His Majesty in a manger
He is our ransom and He is our song
Bow down before Him, Messiah has come
All of our longing and all of our fear
Silenced forever, for Jesus is here
Oh come let us adore Him
The Son of God is here
The Promised One, Messiah
The Son of God is here
He is here

From the moment that Adam and Eve hid their shame in the Garden, humanity has traveled through the ages with the question, “Where is God?”

Indeed, for many of us, who have struggled to see the good and purpose in difficult times, we also may have wondered where God waits in the midst of our trial.

The ancient Jewish people also deeply contemplated the question of where God was, and what God was doing. At the time of Jesus’ birth, the lands of the Jewish people had been conquered repeatedly for centuries by rival empires that surrounded them on all sides. The Persians and Babylonians came from the north, then later the Macedonians from the west. Afterwards, factions of the Macedonians, the Ptolemaics from the south and Seleucids from the east, lobbied for control of their land. Afterward Jewish people were then able to obtain a brief 80 year period of independence, but then, only decades before Christ’s birth, the most fearsome empire of all, the Romans, arrived from the West.

Throughout the suffering, turmoil and devastation of their lands, culture, and even their Temple, the Jewish people hoped for and looked to a Messiah, a new kind of king to relieve them of their torment and establish an unconquerable reign of rule and peace.

During much of the turbulent history leading to the birth of Jesus, the Jewish people looked for God’s presence and movement, wondering when God would bring forth this Messiah. The ministry of John The Baptist generated much buzz and excitement in the nation, as the anticipation of the return of prophecy and God’s proclamation to the people.

So when Jesus arrived, proclaiming the message, “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven has drawn near” (Matthew 4:17), there was not an overwhelming response throughout the nation recognizing Jesus as the Messiah – the long awaited presence of God.

A humble servant. Healing, teaching, loving, showing compassion to the sinner and foreigner alike. Jesus was not the crusading Messiah expected to vanquish the Romans. And many continued to wonder, “Where Is God?”

God is all around us. Christ ushered his Kingdom into the realm of sin around us. The Spirit resides throughout us and our land. And yet, so many still continue to wonder, “Where is God?”

The problem is never that God has vanished or disappeared. God doesn’t withdraw from us, although God will permit us to feel that way for our own good and growth. No, we’re always the one who fails to see God, or refuses to recognize God as he is, and what he shows us.

God is here. The Son of God has come. The Messiah has arrived. That’s what Christmas represents. The question is simply if we will see and recognize him for who he is and what he is doing around us.

Dear Lord, help us to become more aware of Your presence always with us, whether we can feel You or not. Our life would be drastically different if we could only remember You are with us always. Thank You for Your presence and thank You for everything You have done to make this reality possible. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Angels from the Realms of Glory

Luke 2:13-14 (ESV)
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!”

Angels from the realms of glory
Wing your flight o’er all the earth
You who sang creation’s story
Now proclaim Messiah’s birth
Come and worship Come and worship
Worship Christ the newborn King
Shepherds in the field abiding
Watching o’er your flocks by night
God with man is now residing
Yonder shines the infant light
Come and worship
Come and worship
Worship Christ the newborn King
Emmanuel Emmanuel
You are the God who saves us
Worthy of all our praises
Emmanuel Emmanuel
Come have Your way among us
We welcome You here, Lord Jesus
Come have Your way among us

We welcome You here, Lord Jesus
Oh oh oh oh
Come and worship
Worship Christ the newborn King
God is with us
Even now His love is here
Come and worship
Worship Christ the newborn King
God is with us
Even now His love is here
His love is here
Emmanuel Emmanuel
You are the God who saves us
Worthy of all our praises
Emmanuel Emmanuel
Come have Your way among us
We welcome You here, Lord Jesus
Come have Your way among us
We welcome You here, Lord Jesus
Emmanuel Emmanuel
Emmanuel Emmanuel

What does worship look like in your life?

Take a mental inventory of what your week looks like through the lens of worship. How much worship do you find yourself doing?

We were created to worship. Worship is freeing, life-giving and a filter that brings contentment and purpose.

Worship is like taking a deep breath after being underwater for a long time, and friends, we are often submerged in some deep water. But when our lives become centered on worship, our lungs free up and we can begin to breathe fully and deeply.

It’s because we were created to worship.

And if you really think about it, we all worship, whether we are Christians or not.

Worship is where you put the most of your time and energy.

Whatever consumes you the most, and occupies your mind the most deeply, well, that’s worship. I’m sure you also realize that many things other than God can occupy that place in our heart and soul. As Christmas approaches, we are again called to be like the shepherds in the fields, the wise men, and the new parents to come and worship the newborn King.

As a prayer reflection take some time and prayerfully consider what consumes your time. Furthermore, what occupies your thoughts? Do you find yourself worrying, overreacting, overworking, over-resting? Try to really step into your thoughts and actions and seek God’s guidance on what you worship. For God wants us all to fully worship him. As a fellow follower of our great Jesus, I too have struggles that occupy my mind and actions, but we serve a gracious God who is seeking us to constantly return to him with our shortcomings. This God isn’t looking to punish but rather lovingly parent us, and that is what we really need. We are lost sheep looking for our Shepherd.

So start again today by returning to the Lord and seeking him and only him. Will you fail in this endeavor to have him be the only thing you worship? Yes. But God knows that and knows that we are capable of being fickle. The Christian walk is a journey. With any great journey it takes time to get to the destination. God seeks your heart and intention and can do great and mighty things with your desire to put him first above all. Trust, if you are willing, and God will lead you to that life of worshipping him and only him more and more all of your days. It is always my prayer and it is my hope it is yours too!

May you find yourself drawn into deeper worship, not only because our God deserves our worship, but we desperately need it as well!

We desperately need it.

Dear Lord, It is only human to have my attention divided, but God You offer so much more than what occupies our mind and actions. Our life would be much richer if we worshipped only You, so help us please! Help us in times of trouble to remember and praise who You are. Help us in times of joy to remember and praise who You are. Help us when we are talking to our loved ones, friends and coworkers to share in honest, transparent ways of how amazing You are in our life. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

What Child Is This

Luke 1:30-32 (ESV)
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.

What Child is this who laid to rest
On Mary’s lap is sleeping
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet
While shepherds watch are keeping?
This, this is Christ the King
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing!
Haste, haste to bring Him laud
The Babe the Son of Mary
So bring Him incense gold and myrrh
come peasant King to own Him
The King of kings salvation brings,
let loving hearts Enthrone Him
Raise, raise a a song on high!
The virgin sings her lullaby
Joy, joy for Christ is born
The Babe, the Son of Mary!
This, this is Christ the King
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing!
Haste, haste to bring Him laud
The Babe the Son of Mary
Nails, spears shall pierce Him through
The Cross He bore for me, for you
Hail, hail the Word made flesh the Babe
The Son of Mary

Take just a moment to try to imagine Jesus as a baby. Maybe you have had a child before, and if so, use that as a foundation for your thoughts. When we were expecting our babies, we wondered what they would like. But looking into the purest form of innocence can bring an awe you never knew existed.

With babies there is such a hope, promise and an unbelievable miracle in the reality that another human has been born. Babies, by their very nature, draw people to them.

Now, can you imagine the draw to others Jesus had as a baby, since he was both God and a human being.

Look at how people responded to this child! They knew who he was even as a baby.

The question today, is what do you know of this baby, who grew up into the man we worship as the Son of God? What has he done in your life? What is he longing to do in your life today? We are all fallen and need him even stronger at times, no matter how close we already are to God. Turn to God today and seek him in this way. I hope that this song, “What Child Is This?” will serve as a prayer practice for you today.

Dear Lord, Thank you for the miracle of babies. Babies give us hope and they give us a glimpse into what true innocence and holiness looks like. God, you came as a baby. Thank you for sending Jesus as a baby. This baby ended up doing amazing, terrific, redeeming things for this world. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

O Come All Ye Faithful

Luke 2:15 (ESV)
When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.”

O come, all ye faithful
Joyful and triumphant
O come ye, oh come ye to Bethlehem
Come and behold him
Born the king of angels
Oh come let us adore him
Oh come let us adore him
Oh come let us adore him
Christ the Lord
Sing, choirs of angles
Sing in exultation
Sing all ye citizens of heaven above
Glory to God
Glory in the highest
Oh come let us adore him
Oh come let us adore him
Oh come let us adore him
Christ the Lord
Yea, Lord we greet thee
Born this happy morning
Jesus to thee be all glory given
Word of the Father
Now in flesh appearing
Oh come let us adore him
Oh come let us adore him
Oh come let us adore him
Christ the Lord
Come let us adore him
He is Christ the Lord
Sing choirs of angels
Come let us adore him (come let us adore him)
Come let us adore him

I have never visited Israel. I suppose that one day I would love to visit and walk the places where Jesus ministered and the church began, but I’ve just never had the means or opportunity to do so up until this point in my life.

“O Come All Ye Faithful” is a hymn that celebrates the remarkable joy and excitement that surrounded the birth of Christ, asking us to “come to Bethlehem.” Of course, that is much of what Christmas is about in the Christian tradition, recreating the scene and impact of the birth of Jesus. And while we cannot travel back in time to the setting of Jesus’ birth, there is a wonderful realization that we don’t actually need to, because God has made himself available to us in all ages and places through Jesus.

The line in this song, “Word of the Father / Now in flesh appearing” speaks to the heart of how we are all able to join in with this celebration. Prior to his birth as the baby Jesus, the Second Person of the Trinity, the Word, existed in perfect harmony with God for all previous eternity. But the infinite possibilities of God entering human flesh has made it all possible. In Jesus, we can join alongside the history of God’s people and their worship of Christ, and each Christmas as we specifically focus on Jesus’ birth, we too can say, “Oh come let us adore him / He is Christ the Lord.”

Dear Lord, thank You for bringing us the opportunity to relate to You and connect to You through Jesus. Your Spirit indwells each of us, and speaks to us the truth of worship and adoration of your Son. Lord, enable us to focus intently on You this Christmas season, and learn ways that we can connect to you throughout the year. In the Name of Jesus,  Amen.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019


Matthew 11:28 (ESV)
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Love incarnate, love divine
Star and angels gave the sign
Bow to babe on bended knee
The Savior of humanity
Unto us a Child is born
He shall reign forevermore
Noel, Noel
Come and see what God has done
Noel, Noel
The story of amazing love!
The light of the world, given for us
Son of God and Son of man
There before the world began
Born to suffer, born to save
Born to raise us from the grave
Christ the everlasting Lord
He shall reign forevermore
Noel, Noel

Come and see what God has done
Noel, Noel
The story of amazing love!
The light of the world, given for us
Noel, Noel
Come and see what God has done
Noel, Noel
The story of amazing love!
The light of the world, given for us
Noel, Noel

Come and see what God has done

In so many of our beloved Christmas songs we find a call to action that asks us to “come.” Have you ever noticed that?

It’s because in order to follow God, we must come to him. Of course, He is always there, but we must respond, must come. There is an action required on our part in order to be a witness to the miracle of who God is.

The coming is not a one-time action, nor is it a compartmentalized function of our lives. In order for us – for you – to fully grasp the magnitude of God and his amazing love, it needs to be fully infiltrated into every part of your life. This is not just for Sundays or designated times of Bible study or prayer, but you must come to God at all moments of your day.

While you are driving, working, running errands, playing, resting, etc… you must come to God.


Because it is worth everything. A life fully infused with God is one that most never breach. It’s a life with immense purpose and love. It is living your life to the fullest as you seek God in every moment.

Is it hard? You bet.

But anything worthwhile is hard. Your natural instincts will fight you, but if you stay disciplined, and through God’s help you will get better and better at coming to him.

This is what Christmas is all about, and it’s not just for this season, but all the days of your life.

Dear Lord, help us to come to You. Help us to seek You in every moment of our day. We need You Lord, more than air, more than food, more than sleep, for You are our life support. As we are excited to be in the Christmas season, we pray that this same feeling carries us far into the new year. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.