A Purpose-filled Coming

lamb-of-God-535x360Part 2 of the Messiah begins with John 1:29.  “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”  God sent Jesus into the world that Christmas night to save us from our sins.  When the angel had appeared to Joseph he said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:20-22.  God’s plan of redemption was to send Jesus to bring us to redemption and reconciliation with God.  1 John 1:5 “But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin.”  Being sinless, he was the perfect sacrifice.  It did not have to be repeated againHebrews 10 10 and again like the Old Testament sacrifices, as His death paid for all sin.  Hebrews 10:9-10 Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. 10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”   As Jesus said from the cross ‘it is finished’, His death was the ultimate and complete sacrifice and finished it.  His perfect sacrifice paid the price for our sins.  He came to earth and gave up His place in glory to establish a way for us to become righteous and reconciled to God.   I love Paul’s reasoning in Romans 6:8-10 where he tell us that through Christ’s death and resurrection we are raised to life and that sin has been paid for in full. Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. 10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”

Praise Jesus today for His coming, His sacrifice on the cross and His victory over death  by which we are saved through faith in Him.  “for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:13   This is a Promise we can trust and live by.

Linda

This is a moving presentation of the Chorus with visuals to point you to the meaning of the words.

Come to me…

Matthew 11 28Part 1 of the Messiah ends with the following verses from Matthew 11.  “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”   The Messiah that Handel has been exclaiming about in song will bring hope, restoration, rest, comfort and wisdom for living our lives with Him.  Following Him provides us with opportunity to bring our heaviest problems, cares, concerns or heartaches to Him.  He promises rest for our weary souls and will teach us to bear up under the strains of living.  Walking with Him will seem easy and it will lighten our burdens by sharing them with Him.  

Does this life with Jesus describe you?  Look at these verses in the Amplified Bible and see if it helps clarify what walking with Him will do in and through you.  “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavily burdened [by religious rituals that provide no peace], and I will give you rest [refreshing your souls with salvation]. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me[following Me as My disciple], for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest (renewal, blessed quiet) for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy [to bear] and My burden is light.”   Are you bogged down by religious rituals that seem meaningless? Have you experienced the refreshment of Salvation in Jesus?  Do you consider yourself His disciple?  Does walking with Him seem no burden at all as He is right there with you?

Look to Jesus today for hope, encouragement, rest and lightness in your burdens.

Linda

Here is a lovely song using these verses.  Music from the Messiah was not available.

Assurances of Our Shepherd

isaiah-40-11-1He tends his flock like a shepherd:
    He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
    he gently leads those that have young.  Isaiah 40:11

This prophecy in Isaiah points to the coming Messiah as a shepherd who will tend His flock with care and love.   Jesus called himself the good shepherd, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep, John 10:11.  A few verses later in 10:14 He said, “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me”.  Some of the most tender and reassuring verses about Jesus’ love and care for us are John10 28found in John 10:27-28 “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.”   No one, nothing, nowhere and at no time can anyone or anything snatch us away from Jesus.  Once we belong to Him we are His eternally.  He is with us 24/7 and is always accessible instantaneously through prayer.

Let the assurances of the good shepherd carry you through this day and bring you comfort.

Linda

Joy of the Redeemed

The words of the Messiah now begin to focus on Jesus’ time here on earth and what he accomplished.   Isaiah 35:5-6a gives us a glimpse of the future of the babe that came that Christmas night.

joy of the redeemed“Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
    and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
Then will the lame leap like a deer,
    and the mute tongue shout for joy.”

This prophecy appears in a chapter subtitled Joy of the Redeemed.  These actions prophesied hundreds of years before Jesus came to earth speak of the people who encountered Jesus.  They would see, hear, jump and shout for joy after their meeting with Jesus.  This was fulfilled and recorded in the gospels.  Matthew 15:31 “The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel.”   The direct fulfillment was in Matthew 12:22 “Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see.”

This prophecy of visible change either mentally or physically or both can also apply to us.  When we have an encounter with Jesus our eyes are opened to His truth and we can hear and believe the gospel message.  Romans 10:17 “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.”  When we hear and believe, we are transformed and our reaction is like those who saw Jesus.  We shout His praises, leap for joy and see the reality of His truth.  Ephesians 1:13-14 describes our transformation.  And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.”   His indwelling Holy Spirit brings joy, peace, knowledge, wisdom, hope, and so much more into our lives when we accept Jesus as our Savior.  I have a needle point on my wall psalm-107-2-verse-28reminding me of the truth of what I have in Christ.   Psalm 107:1-2 “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!   Let the redeemed of the Lord say sowhom he has redeemed from trouble.”

blessed by GodMay your day reflect His joy and may you shout out His praises.  Let others know of your joy in the Savior that redeemed you.

Linda

 

Sorry no audio of these verses in the Messiah  was available on the Internet.

The Righteous King Arrives

The next prophecy used by Handel in the Messiah was in Zechariah 9:9-10.  He only uses a portion of these verses in the script.

Zechariah 9 9“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
    Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your king is coming to you;
    righteous and having salvation is he,
humble and mounted on a donkey,
    on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
10 I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim
    and the war horse from Jerusalem;
and the battle bow shall be cut off,
    and he shall speak peace to the nations;
his rule shall be from sea to sea,
    and from the River to the ends of the earth.”

These words point to Jesus’ coming at a special time.  This is just before the cross and Jesus enters Jerusalem mounted on a donkey.  The people praised Him that Palm Sunday waving branches as they sang His praises.  Matthew 21:7-9 “They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting,  “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”  Zechariah’s words were given hundreds of years before and Jesus fulfilled them exactly!  Zechariah also says that He will be righteous, coming to save and bringing peace to all nations that seek Him.  We see those completely fulfilled in Jesus’ life.   He came as the righteous Lord, Psalm 145:17 “The Lord is righteous in all his ways and faithful in all he does.”.   He came to bring righteousness to us, 1 Corinthians 1:30 “It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.”  He came to bring peace.  John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.  Those that seek Him do not go away empty handed nor empty hearted.

Rejoice today in the righteousness of God, His Peace and  Jesus’ righteousness imparted to you and me to save us from our sins.

Linda

Angels appear- Oh my! What now?

shepherds fieldsI love the story of the shepherds and the angels.  God’s heavenly beings announcing the biggest event in history to lowly shepherds, the guys out tending the sheep in the lonely hills.  In the same region there were shepherds staying out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord flashed and shone around them, and they were terribly frightened.   Luke 2:8-9

If you had been on guard duty that night, it would have been totally dark in the hills around Bethlehem.  The only light would have been the moon and stars until out of nowhere you are suddenly surrounded by glorious flashing lights.  I think terror would have been the emotion of the evening.  Before we hear from the angels in tomorrow’s passage, let’s stop and consider why would God send holy messengers to announce His Son’s birth to shepherds?  Why not to the powerful kings of the day, or nobles?  Perhaps Jesus said it best, in Luke 19:10 “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”  Jesus came as our Savior to touch the lives of those that will seek Him.  He came to save 1 timothy 1 15the world from the penalty of sin which is death.  Timothy wrote in 1 Timothy 1:15 “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.”  

As you listen and think about the flashing lights on that lonely night in Bethlehem, praise God that Jesus came.  He alone can save.  John 14:6 ” “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”  

Have a blessed day,

Linda

Glory to God in the Highest on this 2nd Sunday of Advent

Luke 2:10-14  10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”  13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly glory to Godhost praising God and saying: 14 “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, good will toward men!” NKJV

This glorious portion of scripture is very poetic and eloquent in the New King James version.  The angel proclaimed that good news for all mankind had come in the form of a babe sent from God.  He would save us from our sins and it will mean good will towards all men.  His coming would bring peace.  Does Jesus bring those things to you today?  Are you assured of His love and salvation?  Remember Ephesians 1:13-14 “ In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.”   The Holy Spirit living inside us is the guarantee that we belong to Jesus.  We are sealed eternally and are His.  Be assured today of the hope that is within you and praise Him for coming to save us.  

Listen to this glorious chorus and revel in the majesty of that night and the wonder of the shepherds.

Linda

Jesus is this and so much more!

Today we are at a point in the Messiah that gives me goosebumps every time I hear it sung or read!  Isaiah spoke of the light coming into the world that will dispel the darkness of sin in 9:2 and then in 9:6 he fully describes this coming Savior.  He will come as a babe and will be amazing!

Isaiah-9-6“For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Is this your Jesus?  He came as a babyLuke 2:7 “and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.”  He was the Son of God given for us and is expressed by Jesus and Martha in John 11:25-27 “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”  27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”    Philippians 2:9-11 describes a future time when Jesus will reign in power and might. He will be all the government we will need. Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,  in heaven and on earth and under the earth,  and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”  

Isaiah then describes attributes of Messiah’s character.

  • He will be called Wonderful Counselor. Psalm 32:8 describes what God does for us. I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;  I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.”  John referred to Jesus as the Word making these words from Psalm 119:24 come to life. Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors.”   
  • He will be called Mighty GodJob 35:5 ““God is mighty, but despises no one;  he is mighty, and firm in his purpose.”  David spoke of God in Psalm 89:8 “Who is like you, Lord God Almighty?  You, Lord, are mighty, and your faithfulness surrounds you.”   
  • He will be called Everlasting Father1 Chronicles 29:10 “ David praised the Lord in the presence of the whole assembly, saying, “Praise be to you, Lordthe God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting.”  John 6:40 “For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.” 
  • He will be called Prince of PeaceRomans 5:1 “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,”   John 14:27 “ Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

Jesus is all this and so much more.  Praise Him today!

Linda

His LIGHT removes darkness

Isaiah wrote of the darkness in which man existed, the pervasiveness of sin and its oppression.  Jesus came in light and glory to dispel that darkness of sin, show it for what it was and still is, and to point all peoples to God.  In Matthew 24:14 Jesus spoke of this darkness and the coming of all people to the light. “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”  The time of proclamation will not last forever but has an end when Christ returns.  The time is now to step into His light and follow Him.

LightShining2Isaiah 60:2-3  “For behold, darkness shall cover the earth,
    and thick darkness the peoples;
but the Lord will arise upon you,
    and his glory will be seen upon you.
And nations shall come to your light,
    and kings to the brightness of your rising.”

Jesus quoted these next words from Isaiah 9:2 in Matthew 4:16.   Then Jesus began to preach “Repent for the kingdom of heaven has come near,” Matthew 4:17. 

Advent-LightIsaiah 9:2  “The people who walked in darkness
    have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
    on them has light shone.”

Jesus was and is the light that shines in the darkness bringing light, hope, and redemption to all who believe.  Jesus confirmed this in John 8:12 “Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”  Jesus is the one who reveals our sins, that darkness around and in us, and brings us into His light for healing and cleansing.

Be encouraged and convicted as you consider the light Jesus brought to the world.

Linda

Good News Then and Now!

The  librettist, Charles Jennens, of Handel’s Messiah put these two prophecy’s of HOPE together.  Both of them tell of the good news of Christ’s coming.   It is seen as prophecy applying to their return to Jerusalem from exile in Babylon, Christ’s first coming as a babe in the manger to save us from our sins and can be applied to Christ’s second coming where He will return as victor and judge.   All were good news of God’s care and plan to save mankind.

Isaiah 40:9 “Go on up to a high mountain,
    O Zion, herald of good news;
lift up your voice with strength,
    Isaiah-60.1O Jerusalem, herald of good news;
    lift it up, fear not;
say to the cities of Judah,
    “Behold your God!”

Isaiah 60:1  Arise, shine, for your light has come,
    and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.

Just reading the words of Isaiah 40:9 makes me want to shout the good news of salvation in Jesus from the mountain tops!  The assurance of Isaiah 60:1 is profound- your light has come!  I am so thankful that Jesus came because He loved me and you.  Think back to John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life”   Ponder anew the amazing provisions of our God both then, now and in the future.

Golden Bible verse John 3 16 , made hand lettering on watercolor heart.Blessings,

Linda