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.

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

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

The Impossible is Possible with God

Isaiah 7:14 is one of the most beautiful prophecy’s about the birth of Jesus.  Isaiah gave this prophecy during the reign of wicked King Ahaz.  He had paid Assyrians to induce them to attack Syria.  King Ahaz had put his faith and trust in men instead of calling upon God for defense.  Isaiah invited Ahaz to request a sign of faith from God, but Ahaz in his stubbornness refused.  God then address the whole house of Israel with this prophecy of the coming Messiah, their true hope, and sign from Almighty God that He God with uswould provide deliverance.  Isaiah 7:14 “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”  

God is amazing as 400 years later this came to pass just as He said.  Matthew 1:19-25 gives us the account of the angel of the Lord appearing to Joseph, Mary’s betrothed, and telling him not to fear taking Mary as his wife. The child she is carrying will be called Jesus, Immanuel, meaning ‘God with us’ and was conceived by God the Holy Spirit.   “But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and 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.”  22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). 24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.”

An angel also appeared to Mary and told her“Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David,33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” Luke 1:30-33

What amazes you today about this prophecy and drama as it unfolded?  I love the specific details of young Mary and the baby.  Jesus, God with us, truly came to save us from our sins just as the angel said He would.  The odds of this happening just this way in luke-1-37exactly the way God said it would affirms God’s sovereignty, omniscience, wisdom and power.  How can all this be we ask along with Mary?  The angel had it right in verse 37 “ For nothing will be impossible with God.”   

Praise Him and give Him your impossible today!

Linda

Messengers from God

Today’s passage comes from the Old Testament prophet Malachi.  He was a contemporary of Nehemiah who had returned to Jerusalem during the reign of King Artaxerxes of Babylon.  Nehemiah and those with him found the temple in disrepair and faced major opposition as they began the restoration.   Desiring to encourage His people, God gave Malachi a message of Hope to deliver in the midst of their trial.  Malachi was the last prophet to speak from God for 400 years until the announcements of John, the forerunner, and Jesus, the Messiah that are recorded in the gospels.

Messenger JohnMalachi 3:1 “I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the Lord Almighty.  God wanted the people to be ready and watching for the forerunner that would come preparing the way for Jesus, Messiah.  Luke 1:13-17 tells the story of the angel Gabriel announcing the coming of John to his father Zachariah.  But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. 14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. 16 He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”   John’s birth and life are a direct fulfillment of this Old Testament prophecy in Malachi that was given 400 years prior. 

The second line of Malachi’s prophecy is about Jesus, ‘the Lord who you seek, will come to his temple bringing a message of the covenant’.   God’s covenant was recorded in Genesis 17:7 “I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between Genesis 17 7me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.”  This covenant or agreement with God was His promise to be their God and they would be His people.  Jesus was God’s messenger of the covenant and the fulfillment of all God’s promises.   He was coming in the flesh to His temple to be with His people bringing a message of love, repentance, restoration and redemption from God.   John was going to come in the spirit of Elijah and prepare the way calling mankind to repent and return to God.  He was to prepare the hearts of the people so they would be ready to listen to Jesus.

This was the glorious message Malachi delivered about the arrival of His messenger who would prepare the way for the Messiah, their deliverer.   Their long awaited Messiah would come with a message of hope and righteousness.  Jesus still has that message for us today.  Let this remind you of the Hope and the right standing with God that Jesus brings.

Blessings of Hope as you listen to this instrumental version,

Linda

1st Sunday of Advent

Isaiah 40-5 The Glory Of The Lord Shall Be Revelaed redOn this first Sunday of Advent, our scripture is Isaiah 40:5.

“And the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
    and all people will see it together.
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

What is the glory of the Lord?  God’s glory is the sum total of His attributes.  We see His glory displayed in the beauty of the earth and His creatures.  We have seen God reveal His power , mercy, grace, judgment, holiness, love and every other attribute in the Bible.  However, the complete revelation of God’s glory is in His Son Jesus Christ.  When Jesus came to earth, He revealed God’s great glory for all of mankind to see, touch, reason with, and behold in the flesh.  God’s plan of redemption for man was to show His glory to us in His Son Jesus.  John 1:14 “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”  Hebrews 1:3 “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.”   Jesus, the complete revelation of God’s glory, came to redeem us.

Let us praise and thank God for His glorious plan that sent Jesus to redeem and save us.

Blessings as you worship Him today.

Linda

God is Worthy of All our Praises!

give thanksGive thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness.
    Let the whole world know what he has done.” 1 Chronicles 16:8

This is a great way to view the opportunities we have a Thanksgiving time to share with our family and friends the many things God has done for us during the year.  Going around the table and naming our thanks, putting words to what our hearts know gives glory to God as we praise Him.

Here is another verse to stimulate your thankfulness- Hebrews 12:28  “Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by unshakableworshiping him with holy fear and awe.”   Spend time thinking about the unshakable kingdom we have access to through Jesus.  His kingdom is without end, holy and pure, a place of hope and security, a place of worship and love, unchanging and permanently held in place by God, ordered and governed by righteousness and presided over by Jesus.   Having head and heart knowledge of God’s glorious kingdom leads us to praise and worship that is filled with reverence and amazement.  I am always brought to my knees when I consider the power and greatness of my Savior.  His sacrifice was great so that I may know and experience His kingdom during my life now and into the future.  

640x1136 mobile phone wallpapers download - www.wallpaper-mobile.comAs we approach this wonderful holiday time, take time to put words and thoughts to your thanks both to your family and to God.  Thank Him for all He has done, is doing and will do for you.  He is an awesome God worthy of all our praises!

Blessings,

Linda