The Beauty of Our Abiding in Christ

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I live in wine country.  Grape vines surround this town and some, older than my grandmother, line backyard walkways and fences.  I’m familiar with their lush greenery and abundant fruit in the late summer and also their barrenness in the late winter.

Do you see beauty in these pictures of the barren grape vine?

I do too.  Maybe because I can relate to the barren grape vine due to barren seasons in my own life.

I don’t see vines failing to produce.  For if they were failing to produce, the vinedresser would take them away.

John 15:1 – “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away…”

These vines were pruned in the fall and are waiting for the lush foliage and sweet juicy fruit to spring forth again.

Are you in a season of producing much fruit, a season of pruning, or in a season of lying dormant?

No matter where you are, be encouraged that you are a branch in the Jesus vine.  He is yours and you are His.  You are in Him and He is in you.

John 15:4 – “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.”

John 15:9-11 – As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”

And as the Father has loved Jesus, so Jesus has loved you.

Read that again…

As the Father has loved Jesus, so Jesus has loved you.

If you are in Christ, Jesus loves you  as the Father loves Him.  If you are producing real spiritual fruit, Jesus is actively at work in you.  It is a sign that He lives in you.  It is a sign that you are abiding in Him and He in you.  It means you’re not doing this on your own, all by yourself.  The God of the universe is doing something in you and with you because He loves you.

If you feel that you are in a pruning stage, then you can be encouraged too.  Though this is a difficult stage, it means that you bear fruit and He is doing something in order that you bear more.  He wants more of His fruit to be produced in your life.

John 15:2 – “… every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”

Maybe you have birthed fruit but you have recently been pruned.  You may be in a winter season, resting and waiting for the coming spring.  Then you can rejoice too.  For He may be purposefully allowing you to rest and is soon to produce a glorious abundance in your life that will nourish the body of Christ and others He has placed in your life.

Perhaps we only feel that we are in one of these seasons but really we’re experiencing them all to some degree in different areas of our lives.

No matter where you feel that you are right now, I pray that you would be able to see that each season is beautiful in that they show us that the Lord is purposeful and active in our lives.  He is tending to you and is passionate about your growth.  More so than the most passionate gardener you may know.  I pray that Jesus’ abiding joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full!

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Linking up with the ladies at the following inspiring blogs this week:

purposefulfaith.com     Photobucket   A Field of Wildflowers sunday-stillness-button     Grab button for Faith Along the Way Renewed Daily - Recommendation Saturday Missional WomenFF Z Font Fellowship Fridays #45  The Watered Soul  “countingmyblessings"     Dance With Jesus  1114updatedbutton   Imparting Gracesaving4six       7 Days Time   whimsical-wednesdays_edited-1   WHHWButton200X200I Choose Joy!    Photobucket

 

 

The Beauty of Your Freedom in Christ

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I woke up this Saturday morning to a fresh blanket of snow.  By mid-afternoon much of it had melted.  With warmer weather moving in, I decided to take a walk with my camera.

Just a short walk down a hill and I always come to this.  A rock wall and an overlook of the Missouri River.  A clear view of the Missouri River is hardly possible even past the rock wall.  There are railroad tracks, trains sometimes and the hillside is covered with gigantic trees with gnarly limbs sprawling across the view.  During the summer, all that can be seen is green from the massive amount of leaves growing on the limbs.  In the winter, I get a partial view.

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I’ve always been intrigued by the twisted branches of the trees at the overlook but today my heart longed for more.  So after I left the wall, I went a few houses down to a neighbor’s house.  For years she has extended an open invitation to enjoy her view.  Today was the first time I took her up on it without kids.  She caught me sneaking into the backyard but noticed my camera and allowed me space to concentrate on my art.

The walkway to her private overlook…

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She has an old gate on the edge of the bluff.  It seems to beckon to me each time I go there.  It calls for me to take pictures of it.  So today I did.

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The gate seems to be a symbol to me.  A picture of what we sometimes might THINK is the obstructed view of God’s glory, truth and loving relationship with us.  A view that is tainted with sin and confusion.

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Some days it feels like no matter how far I go out of my way…no matter how much I pray in the morning before the day starts… there still seems to be the obstruction of sin and my confused thinking.  The brain and the flesh seems to get in the way of what the true me really longs for.

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But is sin and my flesh really in the way?  So often I think I’m trapped in my sin or in my bad thinking patterns.  So I live like I’m a slave to it.  When in reality I only need to walk around it.

I am free to do that.  Yet I often live like I am held captive to it.  There are no trees or walls or fences keeping me from my Father in Heaven.  There aren’t even any keeping me from turning away from my sin or from changing my thoughts.

The truth is…

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Jesus has taken away all obstacles.  Any that seem to be there…are but Satan’s lies.  If we are

in Christ, the Father loves us as He loves Jesus.  If we are in Christ, all of our iniquities have been laid on him.

If we are in Christ, we are no longer slaves to sin, but slaves to righteousness.   We are free to live according to what we most truly are and desire based on our new identity.

Here is a wonderful illustration of our freedom in Christ from a professor at Covenant Seminary, Dr. Phil Douglass.

Before D-day on June 6, 1944 all of France was under the dominion of the Nazis. In effect they were slaves.  Then, by the end of August, 1944 France was liberated by the Allies and the Nazi forces were driven out.  However, there were still Nazi commandoes roaming about the French countryside shooting at the free citizens and thereby causing confusion and making some of the French people think they were still under the dominion of the Nazis when in fact they were not.  The French did have to defend themselves against these attacks but they did so as free people and not as those under slavery as before.  The application is that we were enslaved to the “powers” before being in Christ but when we were placed into Christ we became free, although we still have to defend ourselves against the attacks of the world, the flesh and the devil. On May 8, 1945, the War was over and the Nazi commandoes rampaged no longer.  This is tantamount to the way it will be in heaven when we are set free from the attacks of the world, the flesh and the devil.

2 Corinthians 5:17 – “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

I am so looking forward to THE day.  The day that Christ returns.  Until then, I am striving to remember that I am truly free even though I encounter attacks.  These attacks don’t define who I most truly am in Christ. And nothing can separate me from the love of God.

Romans 8:38-39 -“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Do you struggle with living out or really believing that you have freedom in Christ?  Perhaps this is the Christian life.  Perhaps there is beauty in this struggle. Beauty in that you are not giving yourself over totally to sin and that you are aware and struggling with it and longing for more.  Recognize the goodness in your new spiritual desires and keep stepping around the struggles toward the beautiful abundant free life in Christ.

Linking up with the following inspiring blogs this week:

purposefulfaith.com     Photobucket   A Field of Wildflowers sunday-stillness-button     Grab button for Faith Along the Way Renewed Daily - Recommendation Saturday Missional WomenFF Z Font Fellowship Fridays #45  The Watered Soul  “countingmyblessings"     Dance With Jesus  1114updatedbutton   Imparting Gracesaving4six       7 Days Time   whimsical-wednesdays_edited-1   WHHWButton200X200I Choose Joy!    Photobucket

 

The Wonder of Christ in You

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Today was the day we had been waiting for all winter.

We spent twenty minutes locating hats, snow pants, the lost boot and the missing glove.  We made the trek to our backyard sledding hill (the alley behind our house). I listened intently to each crunching footstep. Last winter, snow was a regular occurrence.  Somehow, this winter, we have missed much of the snow that the rest of the nation has received.

Today was different.  Today we reveled in the snow. We lifted the shades higher and broke out the camera and sleds for a day of celebration and joy in snow.  Something we loathe some years, we celebrated today.

Our delight in the snow got me thinking of something else that is,not loathed, but for sure ignored many days.

Christ in us, the hope of glory.

If we are in Christ, we are not only forgiven, but he has also placed his very life in us.

And not only is he in us, but he is changing us.

To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. -Colossians 1:27

The Holy Spirit places in God’s people THE risen life of Jesus to the extent that his life is their life.

His life is your life.

When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” -Colossians 3:4

If you are in Christ, the life of Jesus is changing you.

We were once, only flesh.  Now we are Spirit.

“That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” -John 3:6

His very risen life is in us as our life.  We are now participants of the divine nature.

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.” -2 Peter 1:3-4

We have all that we need that pertains to life and godliness. As partakers in the divine nature, we are no longer slaves to sin.  We are now able to glorify God in our lives. We are enabled to live in accordance with our transformed hearts.

This is better than a snow day!

So why isn’t this always my daily delight?

Are you taking joy in these truths? Are other life circumstances and activities getting in the way of you finding time to meditate on these truths and to apply them to your life?

I’m considering these wonders and questions today as I wonder at at the beauty of icicles and sparkles in the snow.

Linking up with these inspiring ladies this week:

purposefulfaith.com     Photobucket   A Field of Wildflowers sunday-stillness-button     Grab button for Faith Along the Way Renewed Daily - Recommendation Saturday Missional WomenFF Z Font Fellowship Fridays #45  The Watered Soul  “countingmyblessings"     Dance With Jesus  1114updatedbutton   Imparting Gracesaving4six       7 Days Time   whimsical-wednesdays_edited-1   WHHWButton200X200I Choose Joy!    Photobucket

 

 

Loving the Living Stones

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Sometimes that sweet steeple can have some ugly underneath it.  I think it’s safe to say it out loud.  I don’t know too many who haven’t been disappointed by something ugly that has happened in church.

There will be disappointments within the walls or under the steeples of our churches, but we are witnesses to a watching world in how we respond to those disappointments.

When I say church, I mean the place where we meet on Sundays, not the world-wide church, the body of Christ made up of every believer.

I’ve experienced the two extremes of church life.

Total loss, heartache, hate and, dare I say, evil.

and…

Total fullness, hearts healing, love and righteousness.

I have never before these last two years seen Satan so at work and, at the same time, Jesus so at work.

The church institution experience can be one in which we experience our greatest heartache and our greatest joy and healing.

I’m so thankful to the Lord for surrounding my family with people who love the Lord and long to love each other.  As one who has experienced such extremes, I have a renewed sense of the importance of our individual heart attitudes and actions as we build church communities.  These things determine so much in the grand scheme of what God is doing.  They determine what the outside world sees as they look at believers and they impact fellow believers’ walks with the Lord, their faith and their experience of joy and peace as they live life with other believers.

John 13:35- “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

If we all of the sudden had the power to see inside each other’s hearts and minds, would we be able to call each other followers of Christ based on the love we have for others in the church?

My church is working through the book of 1 Peter.  This has me thinking a lot about the church.  The world-wide church and the smaller church community under the steeple or inside the walls.  Our senior pastor recently said some things that have me thinking about our love for one another.

“We have been loved to become the best lovers. This is both a purpose and product of our salvation.”

Am I loving well?

1 Peter 1:22-23 – “Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;”

Loving each other earnestly.  That can be hard.  We’re different.  Last week I wrote about our truest identity as living stones.

1 Peter 2:4-5 – “As you come to Him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”              

Stones are surrounded by each other as they are being built up into a house.

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And we stones aren’t unfeeling if we are truly living stones among each other.  While we experience the beauty of a world-wide spiritual house being built, giving and receiving the wonderful blessings of being in community, we’re also feeling our rough edges, scraping each other and striving to accept each other’s differences.  The life of a Christian often plays out among other believers in a church where we experience true togetherness with each other and also have other stones in our midst that may not be living.  Those who have not yet truly submitted their lives to Christ.  Not only do we have the natural challenges of loving other Christians well, but we also do this in the midst of others who may not be submitting fully to this call to love the Lord and each other.

Our attempt to love each other must be, as the word says, earnest.  Unfortunately, our approach to church and the relationships there are sometimes not earnest.  We want it to be easy and if it isn’t, things can get ugly or we can just give up.  That may mean leaving the church or it may mean going but not really being fully present.

More wisdom from the sermon on 1 Peter…

“This call to love earnestly uses the same word for earnestly as the one used to describe Jesus praying in the garden of Gethsemane the night his sweat dropped like blood.”

Am I loving my brothers and sisters in earnest? I wonder what it would look like if I loved earnestly to the same degree Jesus prayed the night he was betrayed…knowing what was to happen to him.

And more…

“Loving = earnest warmth directed by the Word of God.”

I want my care for the church to be directed by the Word of God…not my emotions, feelings, personal preferences and motivations.

It is on my heart to ask myself and my fellow Christians to consider our own earnest attempts in our individual church communities to love well.

Am I currently one to promote healing and love at church? Or am I a part of any level of divisiveness.

Do I support the leaders in my church when they make unpopular but biblical decisions?

Am I currently one who is moving away from certain brothers and sisters or earnestly loving them?

Am I currently one who is  gossiping and slandering or one who is entrusting my situation and others’ situations to the Lord?  How have I gone along with gossip or slandering by listening?

Do I currently truly appreciate each person and the way God has uniquely made them?

Am I currently assuming the best of my brothers and sisters?

Do I currently long in my heart for Christ’s power and control over my church or…do I long to have a piece of that?

A prayer for us from Jesus himself:

John 17:20-23- “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.

Ending in grace…this last line in bold.  If you are in Christ, do you grasp fully that the Father loves you to the same degree He loves Jesus?  I pray that this empowers us to love Him with all of our heart mind, soul and strength and others as ourselves.

Linking up with these inspiring ladies this week:

purposefulfaith.com   Photobucket   A Field of Wildflowers sunday-stillness-button     Grab button for Faith Along the Way Renewed Daily - Recommendation Saturday Missional WomenFF Z Font Fellowship Fridays #45  The Watered Soul  “countingmyblessings"  1114updatedbutton   Imparting Gracesaving4six      7 Days Time   whimsical-wednesdays_edited-1   WHHWButton200X200I Choose Joy!    Photobucket

 

 

Our Truest Identity: Living Stones

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“As you come to Him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”               – 1 Peter 2:4-5

So often I equate the abundant Christian life to simply my personal relationship with Jesus: saying no to sin, yes to the freedom I have not to sin, turning toward Jesus in prayer and His word, serving Him and worshiping Him.

These are all good and right but my eyes were opened a bit during the sermon at church yesterday.  Sometimes I forget about the bigger picture of what is happening as I…we…collectively live out our days here on earth.

We, like Christ, are living stones and are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. Christ is building His spiritual house with you, me and other believers.  He’s adding to this house daily.

The abundant Christian life isn’t just a personal relationship between Christ and myself, it is a collective relationship with Him and all of His people.

What a calling and identity!  I’m not just another face on Twitter, Facebook or the blogosphere.  I’m more than a mom, wife, writer and homeschooler.   I am part of a people for His own possession, part of a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation. I am part of a people who have been called out of darkness and into His marvelous light in order to proclaim His excellencies.

And so are you.

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.  Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people, once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

We have received mercy and are His people.

Notice the word doesn’t just say You are now His person.  It says you are His people.

We are being built up into a spiritual house together. We are not just priests but a priesthood.

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A few hours after church, my family took a drive out into the country.  We came across the beautiful stonework that made up this house.  Though each stone is different, the builder arranged them together perfectly to fulfill his purpose.  Some stones are small and some a big.  Each stone has an important role in keeping the house together.  A beautiful picture of the reality of those who are in Christ being built up into a spiritual house. We came across this just a few hours after hearing a sermon on The Family Home and how the purposes God has for us in Jesus are to be received through the community of believers that he builds up, the church.

So I’m asking myself today…

How can I use the time and resources God has given me in order to proclaim the excellencies of Christ fulfilling my calling to be a part of this royal priesthood?  How am I doing this with God’s people?

How am I turning toward or away from (mentally as well as physically) other believers?  Am I valuing our being connected together as living stones ultimately connected to THE living stone?  If I do truly value this, how would that play out in my mind, heart and life?  How would that impact the lives of other believers and myself?

1 Corinthians 12:12-26

“12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell?18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.

21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.”

May we be blessed and bless this week as we suffer and rejoice together with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Linking up this week with these inspiring ladies:

purposefulfaith.com   Photobucket   A Field of Wildflowers sunday-stillness-button     Grab button for Faith Along the Way Renewed Daily - Recommendation Saturday Missional WomenFF Z Font Fellowship Fridays #45  The Watered Soul  “countingmyblessings"  1114updatedbutton   Imparting Gracesaving4six      7 Days Time   whimsical-wednesdays_edited-1   WHHWButton200X200I Choose Joy!    Photobucket

 

 

 

 

 

When Longing for More is Good

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“Those ice cakes may have traveled all the way from South Dakota,”  my dad said as he clicked away on his camera.

The Missouri River runs through my town carrying ice cakes with it toward the gulf.  My dad, the kids and I explored it.  We watched the cakes quickly race by while the stagnant water in small inlets remained frozen, cracked and unmoved.

I wondered what the ice cakes have seen.  How long they’ll stay solid and where the last frozen chunk will melt.  As a child I always wanted to float on an ice berg. Once again, I thought of it as I took pictures on Friday along with my dad.  My heart sensed that there were spiritual truths to grasp here but they didn’t come to me quickly as they often do when I observe nature.

By Sunday I was beginning to think through the ice cake pictures.  The sermon at church drew me to think up on them again.  It included a quote from C.S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity:

“If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world…I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find till after death; I must never let it get snowed under or turned aside; I must make it the main object of life to press on to that country and to help others to do the same.”

Do you have a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy?

Do you long to love perfectly all those you love (or don’t love)?

Do you long to love the Lord with all of your heart, mind, soul and strength?

Do you look forward to the day you will meet Jesus face to face and live forever with Him fully free from sin?

Do you wish you could do something to glorify Him or serve Him in a particular way but find you just don’t have the skills, energy, time, resources or money necessary to do it?

These are all things I long to have now, but I know I won’t have fully on this side of heaven.

Do you ever dream about your eternal home?

Do you ever wonder what you might do there?  I hope to have a beautiful singing voice.  I wonder at what I might be able to do there with the desires he’s given me.  Will He expound upon them?  Will He have me take pictures, write stories or make movies that glorify Him?

I imagine loving without fear of being vulnerable. Loving without anger ever getting in the way.  Reconciliation with those who seem to be irreconcilable now.

My heart bursts with hope!

I imagine loving without fear of losing.  Loving without wondering when sorrow will hit me.

I must never let my hope get snowed under or turned aside.  Frozen. Cracked. Stagnant. There is something sad that I feel in my heart when look at this ice that is not able to join the ice cakes in their race to the gulf.

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And there is sadness in my heart that invades what could be the abundant life when I don’t look toward my heavenly home.

When I get caught up in life circumstances and turn my face toward earth.

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Allowing myself to get caught in the rubble of earth.

I must make my hope be the main object of life to press on to that country.  Somehow the Son seems to lift my head and warm my heart when I get caught up in this world.  He turns me back to the race toward my heavenly home.

And what about helping others do the same?

My dad spots a bald eagle floating on one of those ice cakes.  We struggle to zoom in and get a clear shot as the ice moves swiftly carrying the eagle along.  I happened to snap at the right time to get a rare shot.

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Jesus is the stream of living water.  He carries us and picks others up right along with us…rushing us toward our heavenly home.  We join Him as we encourage others in this struggle.

Is there anyone in your life who joins with the Lord in turning your eyes toward Him once again?

There are so many things going on in our lives and in our world that can hinder what we set our mind on.  I struggle to keep my mind on eternal truths. I struggle to not set my hope on merely my own strength but on the grace that will be be fully revealed upon Christ’s return and fully on the grace that is given right here and right now.

Will you join me in striving toward hope filled thoughts?  In helping others who are temporarily frozen by fear and worry?  Let us turn away from the stagnant cracked wasteland of ice toward Jesus, the giver of life and our ultimate hope in this world.

“Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:13

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Linking up this week with these women who so often encourage me to turn toward Jesus:

purposefulfaith.com   Photobucket   A Field of Wildflowers sunday-stillness-button     Grab button for Faith Along the Way Renewed Daily - Recommendation Saturday Missional WomenFF Z Font Fellowship Fridays #45  The Watered Soul  “countingmyblessings"  1114updatedbutton   Imparting Gracesaving4six      7 Days Time   whimsical-wednesdays_edited-1   WHHWButton200X200I Choose Joy!    Photobucket

Glory to the Newborn King

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Vasari, Giorgio, The Nativity, c. 1546

If we exalt Christ, we elevate Him to a high rank or position in our lives–our heart, mind and spirit.  Are you allowing Christ the King to reign there right now…in these last days leading up to Christmas?  Or do you sense other stuff vying for that place of position in your life right now?  I am overwhelmed at the thought of all of the things to do and the things I COULD do right now and in this next week.  Yet the only thing I want to be overwhelmed by is His coming in the flesh.

Through the incarnation, we are able to see clearly, the Son of God, as our King. The incarnation shows us our King in the flesh, allows us to hear others proclaim His Kingship and hear Him proclaim it. For me, seeing the scriptures that declare Christ as King spanning the Old Testament through the New Testament renews a sense of joy and awe in me.  It brings me to my knees.  This is the very place I want to be at as I approach Christmas.

Have you ever looked at Jesus’ life prophesied, lived, ended and resurrected in light of His Kingship?

For your own meditation, I’ve recorded some of the scriptures I found to shed light on His Kingship. These are just some and, together, they tell the story of Jesus…Beyond the Nativity. While there are a lot of scriptures here, I encourage you to read them all in one sitting for a deeper sense of continuity among the passages.   You will be blessed in reading through them all!

After reading through these, I have a sense that I need to allow scripture to speak for itself here. So I end this devotional and this blogging through the Christmas season with scripture along with one question and a song at the very end.  Merry Christmas!  May you and yours be blessed as you turn toward the Lord and His marvelous reign over us this Christmas and always!

Daniel 4:3

3 How great are his signs,
how mighty his wonders!
His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and his dominion endures from generation to generation.

 Isaiah 9:6-7

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.
7 Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it

with justice and with righteousness
 from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

Luke 1:31-33

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, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

 Matthew 2:2-6

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.” 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:

6 “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

 Zechariah 9:9

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.

 Hebrews 1:1-2

Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.

John 1: 49-51

49 Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” 50 Jesus answered him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” 51 And he said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

 Matthew 13:44

44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

 Luke 8:1

Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him,

 Luke 23:2

And they began to accuse him, saying, “We found this man misleading our nation and forbidding us to give tribute to Caesar, and saying that he himself is Christ, a king.”

 Matthew 21:1-5

Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.” 4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying,

5 “Say to the daughter of Zion,
‘Behold, your king is coming to you,
humble, and mounted on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’”

 Luke 19:36-40

36 And as he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road. 37 As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, 38 saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” 39 And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” 40 He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”

 John 18:33-37

So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” 34. Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?” 35. Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?” 36. Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.”37. Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world – to bear witness to the truth…”

 Matthew 27:29

and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!”

 John 19:14, 19-22

Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour. He [Pilate] said to the Jews, “Behold your King!”

19 Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” 20 Many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic, in Latin, and in Greek. 21 So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but rather, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.’” 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.”

 Hebrews 12:1-2

12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

 Revelation 19

11 Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. 12 His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. 13 He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. 14 And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. 15 From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.

Revelation 17:14

14 They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful.”

 Revelation 11:15

15 Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.”

What is God’s Word doing in your heart today as you see the thread of Christ’s kingship throughout the bible? Praise the King!  Listen to Hark the Herald Angels Sing.

This is a devotional from my Christmas Kindle book, Beyond the Nativity, available this week for only.99! Reviews on Amazon would be so appreciated!

cover from amazon

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