The Gift of Light

His Name Is_2

Day 17

Christmas lights! One of my favorite things to do during this season is to drive around and look at Christmas lights. I love to sit in our family room with all the lights out except for the glow of the fire and white lights on the evergreen tree! It’s so peaceful and happy! Yesterday you read through and examined Isaiah 9:2-7.  I love how this passage begins:

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. —Isaiah 9:2

This describes our lives apart from Jesus! Let’s back up and look at some of the preceding verses:

But there will be no gloom for her who was in anguish. —Isaiah 9:1

And they will look to the earth, but behold, distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish. And they will be thrust into thick darkness. —Isaiah 8:22

Those are pretty intense and depressing word pictures: gloom, anguish, distress, darkness, the gloom of anguish, thick darkness.

But in Jesus, we who once walked in darkness have seen a great light and on us light has shone. Let’s read how this is fulfilled in the New Testament. Some of these are long passages, but I encourage you to take the time to be still, read through them slowly and savor all that Jesus has done for you!

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.
The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. —John 1:1-14

Now when he heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew into Galilee. And leaving Nazareth he went and lived in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, so that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:
“The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,
the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles —
the people dwelling in darkness
have seen a great light,
and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death,
on them a light has dawned.”
From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “ Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. —Matthew 4:12-17

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. —John 8:12

I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. —John 12:46

Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “ Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “ My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” And some of the bystanders, hearing it, said, “ This man is calling Elijah.” And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine, and put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink. But the others said, “ Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.” And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.
And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “ Truly this was the Son of God! —Matthew 27:45-54

Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, “ Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. —Matthew 28:1-9

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. —2 Corinthians 4:6

May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. —Colossians 1:11-14

We no longer have to walk through our days discouraged, gloomy, or in anguish. We have seen a great light. We have been given the gift of light — Jesus, the Light of the world!

How will this knowledge change how you approach your day? Worship Him today!

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For Unto Us is Given…

His Name Is_2

Day 16

We’re going to spend the next several days examining Isaiah 9:6-7. For now, read through this wonderful passage of Scripture and note what you learn about the following:

  • How are the people described?  What characterizes their lives?
  • What are their circumstances?
  • What are they given? How is this gift described?
  • Who is this gift?
  • Who bring this to pass?

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.
You have multiplied the nation;
you have increased its joy;
they rejoice before you
as with joy at the harvest,
as they are glad when they divide the spoil.
For the yoke of his burden,
and the staff for his shoulder,
the rod of his oppressor,
you have broken as on the day of Midian.
For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult
and every garment rolled in blood
will be burned as fuel for the fire.
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.
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.

—Isaiah 9:2-7

Let the living and active Word of God, encourage and instruct your heart today! Worship Him!

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two- edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. —Hebrews 4:12

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Behold! The Time Is Coming

His Name Is_2

Day 15

Have you ever waited so long for something you felt as if it would never come to pass? It’s frustrating to wait. It can often leave us feeling discouraged, disappointed and hopeless.

What are you waiting on  this Christmas season?

The Good News is that once we have entrusted our lives to Jesus, we will always have hope and can face our waiting seasons with courage and confidence knowing that our God will act and He is faithful! He is always working things in accordance with His most perfect will for our ultimate good and His glory.

Read Luke 2:1-7.

The Christmas story is the fulfillment of a long-awaited promise. A phrase that struck me in our passage today was the word “time”. God’s timing is always perfect and never too late.

Read the following passages (Old Testament prophecies and New Testament fulfillment) and note what you learn about timing.

“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David, and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In those days Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will dwell securely. And this is the name by which it will be called: The Lord is our righteousness.’ —Jeremiah 33:14-16

Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: The Lord is our righteousness.’ —Jeremiah 23:5-6

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. —Luke 2:1-6

And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” —Luke 2:10-12

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. —Galatians 4:4-5

Whatever  you find yourself waiting on today, you can rest confidently knowing that God is faithful and He is still acts on behalf of those who love Him…for our good and His glory! And He will use our waiting time to draw close to him to mold us more each day into the character of Jesus.

Wait confidently…

Wait courageously…

Wait rejoicing…

and worship Him while you wait!

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For further study read Paul’s declaration found in Acts 13:22-33.

 

Magnify His Name!

His Name Is_2

Day 14 

Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together. —Psalm 34:3

Notice the many names of Jesus and attributes found in Mary’s Song of Praise. Worship Him today!

Mary’s Song of Praise:The Magnificat

And Mary said,
“ My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
And his mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
and exalted those of humble estate;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his offspring forever.

—Luke 1:46-55

Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! —Psalm 46:10

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Let’s Sing His Name

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Day 13 

I’m headed out of town this weekend for some much need fellowship, friendship and laughter.  I’m joining my precious friend of almost 20 years, Lori, and her daughter.  My sweet daughter and I will be catching up with them for Christmas tea at a wonderful tea room in a small Georgia town and perhaps some shopping in the local antique stores. I’m so looking forward to our time together! So…I’m combining two lessons into one for you this weekend.

This weekend, I encourage you to focus on singing the names of Jesus. We find His names throughout the Christmas carols and hymns we sing each Christmas season. Hopefully some of what we’ve been reading and studying on the names of Jesus you’ll find in these wonderful songs. I hope you find deeper meaning and a sense of His presence as you sing them this year.

The Word (Christ Incarnate)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. —John 1:1-3

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. —John 1:14

Immanuel

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “ Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). —Matthew 1:22-23

Christ the Lord

And the angel said to them, “ Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. —Luke 2:10-11

Savior

She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. —Matthew 1:21

King

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, 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. —Matthew 2:1-2

Son of the Most High

And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 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, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end. —Luke 1:30-33

Holy One, Son of God

And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy — the Son of God. —Luke 1:35

In his Christmas study, The Sovereignty of God in Christmas, T.M. Moore suggests reading through some of the Christmas carols to see how many different names for Jesus do you encounter? How many ways do the carols represent the work of Jesus as Christ and Immanuel? Sing the carols together with new appreciation for their profound meaning.

Thus we see the sovereignty of God at work in the names associated with the Baby born in that manger in Bethlehem. Jesus Christ, Immanuel: What Child is this? He’s the One anointed by God, the very Word and Son of God incarnate, sent to bring the people of God into the promised land of saving grace and glory. He vanquishes all our enemies – especially those who hold our souls captive. He overcomes every obstacle to our entering the holy place of the Lord. He is with us to fulfill all righteousness and bear all punishment, so that we might be with Him where He is, forever in glory. —T.M. Moore, The Sovereignty of God in Christmas

Our church will hold their annual Carols & Communion service this weekend.  Perhaps you’ll be singing Christmas carols and hymns this weekend as well.  Take note of the names of Jesus you see and sing as you worship Him in song.

And to give you a resource to put you in the Word this weekend, here’s a downloadable/printable copy of 44 of the Prophecies of Christ’s Life.  You’ll find an Old Testament passage and then the New Testament passage where the fulfillment of that prophecy is found.  Soak in the Word this weekend and worship Him!

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Pause to Consider…

His Name Is_2

DAY 12

A pause…sometimes we really need one. Just to take a moment—STOP—take a deep breath. This is much needed for me today! I’ve hit that point in the Christmas season where, if I’m not careful, I’ll find myself spinning out of control in so many ways….shopping, wrapping, planning, activities, baking, eating, more shopping. I NEED to stop and pause and breathe. Today seems like the perfect point in our devotional series to do this! We’ve spent the past two days looking at the names of Jesus as the Good News and our Good Shepherd.  Let’s spend today just reflecting on some Scriptures related to our need for Good News and a Good Shepherd.

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned —every one —to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. —Isaiah 53:6

“For thus says the Lord God: Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his sheep that have been scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. —Ezekiel 34:11-12

When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things. —Mark 6:34

So Jesus again said to them, “ Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. —John 10:7

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. —John 10:11

I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. —John 10:14-16

Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. —Psalm 100:3

But we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will give thanks to you forever; from generation to generation we will recount your praise. —Psalm 79:13

Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker! For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. —Psalm 95:6-7

Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. —Hebrews 13:20-21

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “ Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. —Luke 2:8-11 

(For further study, you might want to read the Christmas story from the shepherds’ perspective. You can find it here.)

Worship Him today!

Share with us what you’ve learned by leaving a comment at the end of this post. Remember, all the rushing and impatience of NOW! causes us to miss the joy of the moment. Let’s commit to being intentional this Christmas season, to not allow the hurried and harried NOW! attitude rob us of the joy and peace Jesus has for us in the moment. Slow down and soak in the presence of Jesus —Immanuel, God with us. His presence renews, refreshes and enables us to rejoice in the ALL the moments of this often harried and hurried season.

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He is the Good Shepherd

His Name Is_2

Day 11

We continue looking at Isaiah 40:9-11. Yesterday we focused on verse 10, Jesus, the Good News! He alone brings about salvation and one day He will return. Coming in power and might, King of kings and Lord of lords. God’s purpose and plan for redemption are complete in Christ. But not only is Jesus the Good News, but as we see in verse 11, He is our Good Shepherd.

Go on up to a high mountain,
O Zion, herald of good news;
lift up your voice with strength,
O Jerusalem, herald of good news;
lift it up, fear not;
say to the cities of Judah,
“Behold your God!”
Behold, the Lord God comes with might,
and his arm rules for him;
behold, his reward is with him,
and his recompense before him.
He will tend his flock like a shepherd;
he will gather the lambs in his arms;
he will carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead those that are with young.

—Isaiah 40:9-11

What do you learn in verse 11 about Jesus as our Shepherd? What does He do? How does this encourage you today?

Let’s look once again at some cross-reference verses focusing on Jesus as the good Shepherd. Again note what you learn about who Christ is, what He does and who we are in Him.

John 10:1-18

Psalm 23

Rose Publishing has produced a wonderful pamphlet titled, Names of God.  It’s a great little resource giving definition, insight and Scriptures on many of the names of God. Psalm 23 highlights many of the names of God, specifically Jehovah. Jehovah is God’s covenant name meaning the self-existent One, I AM. Jehovah, is often paired with another word to form a compound name, further describing God’s character. Jehovah is a name that describes God as the One who reveals Himself to us unceasingly! I love that! I need that in my life!

Read through Psalm 23 below and note how each verse references the character and nature of God in His name Jehovah —the God who reveals Himself to you unceasingly in every moment, in every need.

Psalm 23

Verse 1:
The Lord is my shepherd Jehovah- Rohi (The Lord is my shepherd)
I shall not want Jehovah- Jireh (The Lord will provide)
Verse 2:
He makes me to lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters Jehovah- Shalom (The Lord is peace)
Verse 3:
He restores my soul; Jehovah- Rapha (The Lord who heals)
He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.  Jehovah-Tsidkenu (The Lord my Righteousness)
Verse 4:
Even when I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I fear no evil,for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff — they comfort me. Jehovah Shammah (The Lord is there)
Verse 5:
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;  Jehovah Sabaoth (The Lord of Hosts)
you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Jehovah Mekkaddishkem (The Lord who sanctifies)
Verse 6:
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Jehovah Nissi (The Lord is my banner)

Jesus is our great I AM!  

Worship Him today!

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He is the Good News!

His Name Is_2

Day 10

I love the sense of anticipation and excitement found in this passage of Scripture. It’s like the night before Christmas, when little ones find it hard to sleep anticipating what joy and surprise tomorrow holds. This prophecy found in Isaiah 40 is evokes the same excitement and is full of great anticipation. Herald of good news! Behold your God! The Good News of the gospel is on the way —Christ is coming!

Go on up to a high mountain,
O Zion, herald of good news;
lift up your voice with strength,
O Jerusalem, herald of good news;
lift it up, fear not;
say to the cities of Judah,
“Behold your God!”
Behold, the Lord God comes with might,
and his arm rules for him;
behold, his reward is with him,
and his recompense before him.
He will tend his flock like a shepherd;
he will gather the lambs in his arms;
he will carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead those that are with young.

—Isaiah 40:9-11

If you remember from Day 1 the word behold means to sit up, take notice, pay attention! So get ready because this verse has such good news for us today!

We’ll begin today examining the the first two verses and finish up tomorrow in verse 11.

Behold your God comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. —Isaiah 40:10

It is announcing the good news of the arrival of God.

Rule, Reward and Recompense —He needs no help from anyone or any external source to bring about salvation. He rules by His own inherent power and brings salvation for all.  I love how Isaiah 40:9-11 reads in The Voice translation:

The Lord, the Eternal, comes with power, with unstoppable might; He will take control without question or delayHe will see to it that wages are paid, repairs are made, and all is set right again.

“The Almighty God, the Creator, the Redeemer who is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, unchanging, who alone is God and has no equal is for us. He is the savior of his people and no one can successfully thwart his saving purpose.” —John MacArthur

Let’s look at some cross-reference verses for these concepts of rule, reward and recompense.  Take time to pour over these verses. Ponder them. Let the Word of God sink deep into your soul and spirit today. What do you learn about the character of Jesus from these verses? How do they encourage you today and as you prepare to celebrate this Christmas season?

Oh sing to the Lord a new song,
for he has done marvelous things!
His right hand and his holy arm
have worked salvation for him. —Psalm 98:1

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. —Philippians 2:9-11

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 17:14

The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. —1 John 3:8

Now since the children have flesh and blood in common, Jesus also shared in these, so that through His death He might destroy the one holding the power of death — that is, the Devil — and free those who were held in slavery all their lives by the fear of death. —Hebrews 2:14-15

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God… —Ephesians 2:8

Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. —Revelation 22:12-13

“May the Lord prepare our hearts by the teaching of his word and the convictions of his Spirit, that high and proud thoughts may be brought down, good desires planted, crooked and rugged tempers made straight and softened, and every hindrance removed, that we may be ready for his will on earth, and prepared for his heavenly kingdom.” —Matthew Henry

Get ready!  Worship Him today!

Share with us what you’ve learned by leaving a comment at the end of this post. Remember, all the rushing and impatience of NOW! causes us to miss the joy of the moment. Let’s commit to being intentional this Christmas season, to not allow the hurried and harried NOW! attitude rob us of the joy and peace Jesus has for us in the moment. Slow down and soak in the presence of Jesus —Immanuel, God with us. His presence renews, refreshes and enables us to rejoice in the ALL the moments of this often harried and hurried season.

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He is the Heart Healer

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Day 9

This Christmas season, you can celebrate and know Jesus as your heart healer. Look at the prophecy in Isaiah 62:1-2:

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor;
he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
to proclaim the year of the Lord ‘s favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;
to grant to those who mourn in Zion —
to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.
They shall build up the ancient ruins;
they shall raise up the former devastations;
they shall repair the ruined cities,
the devastations of many generations.

—Isaiah 61:1-2

We find the fulfillment of this prophecy in Luke 4:18-20:

And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord ‘s favor.”
And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them, “ Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing. —Luke 4:18-20

He IS Jehovah Rapha —The Lord Who Heals.

The word for healer in the Old Testament means to mend, to heal, to make healthy. It describes the restoring of a person’s soul, life. Jesus has done this for us.  We who were dead in our sin, separated from God, without hope or a future have been restored and healed in Jesus! We are never too far gone in our sin to be healed and restored in Christ.

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. —1 Peter 2:24

Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, double- minded people! Be miserable and mourn and weep. Your laughter must change to mourning and your joy to sorrow. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you. —James 4:8-10

 Regardless of what you find yourself facing this Christmas, you can rest in the knowledge that Jesus is near. 

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. —Psalm 34:18

Psalm 103 describes so beautifully the Lord as our heart healer:

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. —Psalm 103:1-5

Draw near to Him. He will revive us and raise us up that we may live before Him! 

“Come, let us return to the Lord;
for he has torn us, that he may heal us;
he has struck us down, and he will bind us up.
After two days he will revive us;
on the third day he will raise us up,
that we may live before him.
Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord;
his going out is sure as the dawn;
he will come to us as the showers,
as the spring rains that water the earth. —Hosea 6:1-3

Let’s make the words of Hosea 6:3 our prayer before the Lord this Christmas season and beyond:

Let us know, let us press on to know the Lord!

Worship Him today!

Share with us what you’ve learned by leaving a comment at the end of this post. Remember, all the rushing and impatience of NOW! causes us to miss the joy of the moment. Let’s commit to being intentional this Christmas season, to not allow the hurried and harried NOW! attitude rob us of the joy and peace Jesus has for us in the moment. Slow down and soak in the presence of Jesus —Immanuel, God with us. His presence renews, refreshes and enables us to rejoice in the ALL the moments of this often harried and hurried season.

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He is a Bright Morning Star

His Name Is_2

Day 8

Jesus is the Bright Morning Star, the Light of the World. Isaiah 9:2 and Numbers 24:17 are two prophecies that speak of Jesus as a great light and a star:

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. —Isaiah 9:2

I see him, but not now;
I behold him, but not near:
a star shall come out of Jacob,
and a scepter shall rise out of Israel. —Numbers 24:17

Let’s read through some cross-reference verses that speak to Jesus being the Light and a Bright Morning Star:

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, 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. —Matthew 2:1-2

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.  —John 1:1-5

The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. —John 1:9

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—1 Peter 2:9

“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star. —Revelation 22:16

“There are two daysprings in the world’s past and future history. One is when Jesus Christ came into the world to shine His light in our hearts. The second will be when He will come again in glory as the bright and morning star. We shall then be indeed as shining stars of varying degrees.” (Complete Word Study Bible Dictionary)

Is Jesus shining bright in your heart and life this Christmas season? Be encouraged today that in Jesus you have been called out of darkness and into His marvelous light! This light has overcome the darkness of the world and the darkness of sin in our hearts.

Who is God calling you to be a light to today? We have reason to rejoice in Jesus, who is the Light that has rescued us out of a world of darkness. His great light in our lives should in turn be reflected to those around us.

Read through the following examples in the Christmas story of this who encountered the Bright Morning Star.

Matthew 2:1-11:  The wise men who traveled a great distance, following a bright star to the baby Jesus.  And when they found Him, their response was to bow down in worship and present Him with gifts.

Luke 2:8-15: The shepherds who were quietly tending their flock at night and the bright light of the glory of the Lord shown around them. They were filled with fear and awe. They followed the angel’s instructions and found the baby Jesus in a humble manger. And when they found Him, they rejoiced and returned praising and glorifying God.

Worship Him today!

Share with us what you’ve learned by leaving a comment at the end of this post. Remember, all the rushing and impatience of NOW! causes us to miss the joy of the moment. Let’s commit to being intentional this Christmas season, to not allow the hurried and harried NOW! attitude rob us of the joy and peace Jesus has for us in the moment. Slow down and soak in the presence of Jesus —Immanuel, God with us. His presence renews, refreshes and enables us to rejoice in the ALL the moments of this often harried and hurried season.

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