Saturday, December 22, 2012

Greetings Friends,

We spend the month of December celebrating the birth of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ.  The month of December seems to become mystical and magical above all the other months of the year.  It is a time of giving, serving, and loving.  It is a time for family and friends to share in the great experiences of life.  It is a very special time to reflect upon the great gift of God’s grace that intersects our lives and changes them forever.  We change.  Our lives change because we have a meeting with an unchangeable God.

Malachi 3:6  For I am the LORD, I change not;

Hebrews 13:8  Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

God’s unchanging, all-wise character determined the great worth of bringing into existence the crown of HIS creation – mankind.  The sacrifice - The humility - The suffering  The Great condescension was worth the creation of mankind.

Isaiah 46:10  Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:

I cannot express the great worth of God’s plan.  The vast expanses of this magnificent universe were made for the glory of God.  The beautiful intricacies of this Oasis of life we call the planet earth…, the beautiful birds, the majestic mountains, the broad range of colors in the plant kingdom, the fountains deep, the oceans blue, the glories of this creation of life all give glory to God.  And mankind is the very crown of all God’s creation for we were made in HIS image.  We were made to be image bearers of God.  We are to manifest the very righteousness of God to not only the world, but to the entire universe, “…Christ in you, the hope of glory:” (Colossians 1:27)  Christ came to live in us so that HIS life could be lived through us.  God determined that whatever price would be needed to be paid would be worth it all to fulfill HIS Plan.  HIS plan being the creation of mankind and his ultimate redemption.  And what price did God pay?

Matthew 27:24-31  24  When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.  25 Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.  26 Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.  27 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers.  28 And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe.  29 And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!  30 And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head.  31 And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him.

Jesus Christ cried from the cross “…, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.  (John 19:30)  And then in Revelation 21:6 God said:  “It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.”   Phase 1 of God’s Great Plan for time was the Redemption of mankind.   Has that plan been accepted in your life?  Has God’s eternal love story invaded your life and changed you FOREVER?  I pray that redemption has been accomplished in your life.
Ephesians 1:4-6 4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:  5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

According to this verse our adoption began in the past.  Before God ever made a star, HE saw me.  He saw me in my loneliness.  He saw me in my emptiness.  He saw me in my defeat and despair.  And HE knew if I were to become HIS adopted Child, HE would have to first become like me.  HE the very son of God laid aside HIS regal robes of right-eousness, HE laid aside his throne and right to rule and humbled himself and was born in a lowly manger.  He did this for me.  He did this for you.  Listen the Prayer of the Lord Jesus Christ in the garden of Gethsemane.

Mark 14:35-36 35  And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him.  36 And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.

Jesus was facing Calvary and the judgement of God the Father.  This term “Abba Father” reveals an intimacy and an intensity of relationship between the son and the Father.  Can you imagine the intensity of the moment as husbands held their wives and children as they helped them into the life rafts on the Titanic.  Or, the phone calls between husband and wife as it became evident that there was no way out of the burning inferno of the Twin Towers.  Moments of intensity and intimacy.  Abba Father literally means: “OH, Daddy!” or “OH, Papa!”

Daddy, my marriage has failed.  I have no money for the kids.  They are about to shut off my utilities.  My car payment is two months past due.  I do not see a future for me.  Oh, daddy, what am I to do?  We have a heavenly Father and HE instructs us to come to HIM as Abba Father.

Romans 8:15-18 15  For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.  16  The Spirit itself  beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:  17  And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.  18  For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Christmas is all about the wisdom of God and the plan of God in your life and in mine.  It is God’s story becoming a part of our story.  Will we learn to cooperate with God and enjoy his blessings?  Even though sometimes the blessings of God come to our lives disguised, so disguised, that they do not appear to be blessings.

Are you familiar with the Song - "Blessings"

We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
And all the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

'Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near - What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

Will we surrender our life to the expressed will of God?  Will we trust God even when life does not make sense?  Or, will we choose to go our own way and live life without Abba Father?  The choice is ours.

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