Christmas is Coming

FaithWriters Great Multitude Christian Daily Devotional Accept Jesus as Savior

Christmas is Coming – Susan Barnes

“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel”. Genesis 3:15

Theologians get excited about this obscure verse because it is actually the first reference in the Bible indicating that God will send a Saviour. It’s the first mention that Christmas is coming. “He will crush your head” finds its fulfillment in 1 John 3:8 “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” In other words, the woman’s offspring would eventually bring a Saviour into the world. It took several thousand years before it happened, but Jesus entered our world to become our Messiah, our Saviour.

After this initial prophecy, we find many more prophecies throughout the Old Testament that become more specific. We are told which nation (Israel), which tribe (Judah), and which family line (David), the Messiah would be born into. We are told his place of birth, the type of ministry and his sacrificial death. Yet when Jesus came, the religious people of his day didn’t recognise him, even the Pharisees who knew their Scriptures so well.

These people had made up their minds regarding the Messiah and Jesus didn’t meet their expectation. Unlike the wise men who expected to worship the new king at a palace, but seem completely unfazed by worshipping him in a simple home (Matthew 2:2, 11). Are we locked into preconceived ideas about Jesus? If he did something unexpected, would we recognise him?

God will continue to bring in his kingdom, and he will probably surprise us in the way that he does. Let’s be open to his unexpected ways.

Susan Barnes – pursuing a life worth writing about. Contact

Living Intentionally

Lorraine

Daring to be vulnerable

Theodore Roosevelt made a speech sometimes referred to as “The Man in the Arena” at the Sorbonne in Paris, France on April 23, 1910 which I think merits remembrance.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points our how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deed could have done them better.

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasm, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly….”

This speaks to me of the ability to have an understanding that it becomes necessary in opening our souls in a vulnerability to engage ourselves with one another in our pursuits in life.

Through investing and engaging in our endeavors, we will undoubtedly experience both the failures and successes and hopefully realize this is part of life. It is a necessary ingredient that persons fail before they attain a level of success in their lives in becoming authentic persons in; business, career, relationships, volunteering, spiritual roles, maturity, etc.

As human beings it becomes necessary to integrate all our experiences, both the negative and positive ones, along with emotional states. It is in fully accepting and in the allowing ourselves space to hold all these moments within in order to process these events into growth related times.

Hopefully as adults, (although many fail to realize this at any level) we come to a place that we accept that in order to move through life in accomplishing goals, participating in endeavors, and building healthy relationships with others, we learn from these times, using what has not worked or been affective in this sifting process, of what or who, we allow to remain in our lives in learning how to let go of what or who we need to in allowing this growth process to be incorporated into who we are becoming.

Brene Brown – a LMSW stated: “Perfect and bulletproof are seductive, but they don’t exist in the human experience. We must walk into the arena, whatever it may be – a new relationship, an important meeting, our creative process, or a difficult family conversation – with courage and the willingness to engage.

Rather than sitting on the sidelines and hurling judgment and advice, we must dare to show up and let ourselves be seen. This is vulnerability. This is daring greatly.”

There are persons who will deny any wrongs they have made, excuse or justify ill behavior or defend inappropriate happenings or offenses done, of either themselves, or those they are in leadership over, in attempts with keeping to a belief system that they are above error and that they have some sort of a ‘knowing’ that how they behave and respond to others is always right, in light of any other evidence that may exist to the contrary from issues others in their midst try to raise in having addressed.

Whether we have a spirituality to our life or not, the only way to grow in maturing as healthy adults, is in learning from our experiences as a whole, integrating all sides, negative and positive, into our beings, and seeking to have right relationships in respectfully relating to others in valuing, honoring, and giving dignity to our conversations.

Vulnerability is closely tied to humility in the realizing we all share in our humanity and there is no one who has arrived in any state of perfection while walking this earth.

As a woman of Faith, my desire to remain open before God and before others as an approachable person is who I want to be, in valuing the sanctity of space with others, where I desire to create a safe place where they can just come as they are, making confidences known, that I hold others conversations with the highest of integrity, in offering a listening environment, where I remain open to the Spirit’s guidance, respecting and giving honor to their voice.

Creating places where others feel safe is vital to our wellbeing and in the bonds we make with others, in allowing them a place, to come to us and let us know of any wrongs or offenses we have made, (or those we have some supervisory or leadership charge over has made) giving us opportunity to address hurt, suffering, or pain that has resulted as a consequence, that in our responses, we will hopefully help towards healing wounds.

There can be no healing of wounds, no bonds of friendship when we are not willing to be both accessible and approachable before others as this lack will fail in making  peace, but will build walls and obstacles in living on this earth as God’s children, walking in an honesty and sincerity, having pure motivations with one another.

All this to say, vulnerability is a strength within a person in being an open heart, in being a real and authentic human being.  No real growth can occur unless we open ourselves to others in sharing in an honest exchange from one human being to another in desiring to build valuable and meaningful relationships and connections with others throughout our journey in this life.

Letting go of the façade of having to ‘be’ a certain way, looses a freedom in allowing ourselves to be who we desire to be and to portray to others, who we are on the inside.

When we are able to walk as authentic human beings, God opens our lives in incredible ways, ushering us into a world where meaningful connections and relationships become what is of value and what is of worth in this life.

The remnants of our lives that remains when our bodies are gone, are the impressions and value we have instilled in other persons, in having made a difference to have been known and to have loved.

Living Intentionally

Lorraine

God lives as us in us

Learning to discern the truth from lies involves growing in spiritual maturity. We cannot obtain wisdom quickly, nor without much pain and suffering.

It takes a lifetime of sorrow and adversity in the continual turning of our heart to God’s intentions to obtain discernment.

Discerning God’s truth from the lies of this world is possible only when we remain abiding in the Spirit-empowered, Spirit-anointed, Spirit-filled, Spirit-directed lifestyle.

We need to ask God to show us the truth we of who we are in Him and the truth of who He is in us.

The process of renewing our minds from lies we have been told by our society, by those who have hurt us, by cultural upbringing, and by those who call themselves Christians only occur when we develop a daily practice of spiritual disciplines.

Our highest calling though is to be in a continual, personal and intimate relationship with our God. This is our most precious gift and treasure, this holiest union with the God who is love, who represents purity, who is authentic and true in all seasons.

Knowing, understanding and realizing the truth of who God is and who He says we are in Him is key to our spiritual well-being.

In order to be healthy fruit-bearing Godly sons and daughters, we must know our identity is only found and discovered in this relational nurturing with Him.

We can know the Truth and in knowing this in a depth of our being, we are FREE. When we walk in this truth, we are Liberated from the lies and our scales fall from our thoughts, heart, and soul.

This is the liberty the scriptures speak of. When we are released from the hold this world has on us, we are no longer bound by worldly desires or wants.

God’s desires become our desires and our purpose and meaning are discovered, moment by moment walking in His ways, His strength, His ability, and His encompassing love.

When we let go of flesh, surrender human methods, give up our own wanting, then the Spirit of the Living God is who becomes compassion, mercy, grace, and love living as us, through us.

The Life of the Son of God desires to live His life through ours and He can only do this when we step aside and allow Him full reign in our hearts, souls, and spirits.

Then the Spirit of Godly discernment and wisdom is manifested in our decisions, choices, and involvements.

We can know the Truth and in knowing the truth of God in us as us, we are liberated from all the ways this world tries to put us back into bondage.

Once we have come to the place of living as truth speaking, God loving, sincere, genuine people, there is no limit to what He can and will accomplish through us.


Never underestimate God’s power, God’s ability and God’s purposes and plans in our absolute surrender of self to His holy glory.



Living Intentionally 

Lorraine

The Fear of Death

FaithWriters Great Multitude Christian Daily Devotional – Accept Jesus as Savior

The Fear of Death – Ken Barnes

Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death.Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying. (Hebrews 2:14-15 NLT)

Many of us live in bondage to many things in this life.  Ultimately, there is one great fear owned and propagated by the devil.  There is no greater slavery than the fear of death.

The Bible instructs us that it is appointed for men to die once (Hebrews 9:27).  Unless Jesus returns first, all men will experience death.  It is the one great equalizer.  Whether you are rich or poor, famous or not, we will all go the way of the flesh.  The devil is referred to as one who has the power of death.  Satan was the first sinner and the one who first tempted us to sin.  He was the one who brought death into God’s creation, yet by Christ’s death, the enemy has been defeated.  Jesus conquered sin by his work on the Cross, and death was overcome by his resurrection, and so will you and I rise with him (Matthew 27:52).  As Matthew Henry once said, “Death is not only a conquered enemy but even a reconciled friend. It is not now in the hands of Satan but in the hands of Christ.”

If you are a Christian and still enslaved by the fear of death, you don’t understand the implications of your salvation.  If you cannot approach death well, you will never live well.

Contact Ken and find read more of his devotionals.



Living Intentionally

Lorraine

How Much Law Does it Take to Make Grace of No Effect?

FaithWriters Great Multitude Christian Daily Devotional Accept Jesus as Savior

How Much Law Does it Take to Make Grace of No Effect? by Michael Edwards

Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. Gal 5:4 KJV

Are you afraid to embrace God’s abundance of grace alone, trusting Jesus finished work 1,000 percent? Do you hang onto the law and think grace must be balanced by the law or believers would dive headlong into sin and fall away from grace?

Paul calls the Galatians fools for embracing a gospel other than the gospel of grace he preached. They had been deceived into adding the law back in to be right with God. The deceivers probably preached the same fear filled messages we hear today from so many. “Too much grace will give you a license to sin.” “You must balance grace with the law.” The problem, according to Paul, it just takes a little law to affect the whole, making grace of no effect.

A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough Gal 5:9 NAS

How much yeast do they use to leaven a loaf of bread? Just a pinch. So when we add a pinch of yeast the bread puffs up. When we add just a pinch of the law to grace, we puff up, connotating pride and self-righteousness.  Under the law to any degree, the fallen sin nature that still resides in our flesh is aroused and naturally becomes prideful and judgmental. It is the unleavened believer that is humble.

We understand from Jesus that the leaven Paul is talking about is the teaching of the Pharisee’s who preached the letter of the law.

But beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”  Then they understood that He did not say to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees. Matt 16 11b-12 NAS

Finish this Short Study HERE.


Living Intentionally

Lorraine

Dead in Christ, Yet Alive in Him

FaithWriters Great Multitude Christian Daily Devotional Accept Jesus as Savior

Dead in Christ, Yet Alive in Him – Toni Babcock

“And enter not into judgement with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified.” (Psalm 143:2 KJV)

In this verse, David makes a keen observation based on a spiritual law inexorably true as any other natural law in the universe. In God’s sight, no man living can be justified in His sight.  Yet notice the one-word qualifier – “living”.  What if it were possible for the man to reckon himself to be dead as God sees him, and to be justified through the righteousness of another? What if it were possible for God to see a soul as justified before Him because he or she is seen through the righteousness of His Son who died for their sins and rose again?

This is what exactly what Christ has accomplished for those who believe the gospel.  “But God commended his love toward us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” (Romans 5:8-9 KJV)

The response of faith is to receive Christ and to die to sin as well, “For he that is dead is freed from sin,” (Romans 6:7 KJV).  The Apostle Paul exhorts us, “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof,” (Romans 6:11-12 KJV). 

Receiving Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord is exactly that – receiving Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

Toni M. Babcock is the author of The Stone Writer and Reflections from the Heart, in Light of the Gospel of Jesus. Contact

Hope you have plans for the weekend that include times to relax and breathe in the beauty of the preciousness of the life you have been gifted.  Reflecting on God’s goodness and wonder!

Living Intentionally

Lorraine

Common Clay Jars

Common Clay Jars – by Jennifer Woodley      (FaithWriters.com)

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 2 Corinthians 4:7 (NIV).

Nowadays outward appearance seems to be the main attraction. Self-improvement seems to be our greatest pursuit. Whatever we can do to make ourselves look younger, richer, sexier or healthier is all the rage. Our culture says it is all about looking good.

However, Paul did not focus on the perishable container, but the imperishable. That is, not our body, but on its priceless, eternal contents – the power of God dwelling in us. Paul tells us that we are like common clay jars, which are created from the raw earth, yet inside we possess the brilliant light of glory, Jesus Christ, and carry Him as a treasure inside of us. The outward vessel of our body is not as important as the glorious treasure of Christ within.

It is not the candle holder itself that draws us towards it in admiration, but the glowing light that emanates from within. The warm, soft light that pours forth from the jar is the most important part of the vessel. And in the same way, the most important part of us is not our physical appearance, but the light of Christ shining out from us, drawing others to Him. No one will ever see Christ in us if we are only working on our outward selves. After all, we are only common clay jars. It is the inner life, the Christ life within that will make us truly beautiful.

Jesus, help me to remember that your presence living in me is what makes me beautiful and appealing. Amen.

 

Daily devotion from FaithWriters website.  I have permission as a member to repost from their daily devotionals onto my website.

 

Living Intentionally

Lorraine

Christmas is for kids

Christmas season

Christmas is For Kids – Pam Ford Davis

Likely you’ve heard that before; maybe you’ve been the purveyor of opinion.

True, kids do count down the days till Christmas and they definitely make long wish lists. Yet, they do not hold exclusive claim to the holiday. It is a holy day to be observed by worshipers worldwide.

Christmas is for all.

“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to *all people. [Emphasis mine]

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord (Luke 2:8-11 KJV).”

The Lord offers eternal life to all.

“That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved (John 3:15-17 KJV).”

God sent, God’s Son, God’s salvation…

His gift, a very Merry Christmas to all.

 

Pam Ford Davis

FaithWriters.com daily devotional

 

Hope you enjoyed reading these devotionals as a new addition to my site.

 

Living Intentionally

Lorraine

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