“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23Continue reading How to Hold Fast to Hope
As we walk with God, it is helpful to glean what others have learned along their walk with God. May these links bless you in your walk with God.
Promises of God
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
… Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses. Joshua 1:2-3
Moses was dead. About one million Israelites were at the Jordan River looking at the land God had promised them.
When the temple was completed, all the elders and Levites brought the ark of the covenant, the tent of meeting, and the holy vessels before King Solomon and the assembly of Israel. They sacrificed sheep and oxen–too many to number–before the ark. Then the priests placed the ark in the Holy Place.
When they came out of the Holy Place, all the Levitical singers, arrayed with fine linen and carrying harps, cymbals, and lyres praised the Lord in unison with 120 trumpeters.
“For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever,” the house of the LORD, was filled with a cloud, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the house of God. 2 Chronicles 5:13-14
In the beginning, God walked with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day in the Garden of Eden. They enjoyed the intimate presence of God until one day, they chose to eat the fruit of one forbidden tree. After they ate the fruit, they heard God walking in the Garden and calling them. They hid from God’s presence. They were ashamed of their nakedness.
I’ve been ashamed … words I wish I could take back, thoughts I shouldn’t have entertained, actions I took that hurt others. I’ve wanted to withdraw and hide.
Yet, God did not want Adam and Eve to hide from Him. He caused them to confess what they did. Then He explained the consequences of their actions: cursed ground, hard labor, pain in childbirth, discord between themselves, dismissal from the Garden of Eden, eventual death, and separation from the presence of God.
But God was gracious. God covered their guilt with animal skins, the first sacrifice, but it only covered the sin.
There was hope that day. God told Satan that there would be hatred between Satan and the woman and her seed (a reference to the virgin birth, since the man fertilizes the egg with his seed) and Satan’s seed. The Messiah would bruise Satan’s head (Satan’s power), and Satan would bruise Jesus’ heel (the cross). Genesis 3:15
Centuries later, God revealed His promise of the Messiah again, but with more information.
Behold, a virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel [God with us]. Isaiah 7:14
At a time when Ahaz, king of Judah, feared that Syria and the Northern Kingdom would attack, God sent Isaiah to Ahaz to give him a wonderful promise of hope – hope for the nation in the near future; in 12-13 years, the two kings of Syria and the Northern Kingdom would be conquered. The coming Messiah is the far future prophecy.
The promise of hope remains true today. In the midst of trials or danger, God is with us, and He is in control.
In the fullness of time, God gave the world “His only begotten Son that whosoever would believe in Him would not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
Almighty God shed His glory in heaven to enter the womb of a young virgin. God became flesh and lived among the Israelites. Jesus taught in the synagogues, in the homes of tax collectors, on mountainsides, on boats, and down the streets as people followed Him. He healed the sick, touched the lepers, gave sight to the blind, restored hearing to the deaf, raised the dead, calmed the sea, fed the 5,000, and much more.
In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. John 1:4
Jesus became flesh to live the perfect life, to reflect the Father in Heaven, to show the Way, and to become the perfect Sacrifice. Jesus came to take your sins and my sins upon Himself and pay the price for those sins … death. Jesus was nailed to the cross as payment for our sins … death. The price for your sins is paid in full. Jesus paid it all.
Why? Jesus will clothe you in garments of salvation, so that you can live with Him forever … God with us.
Gift of Christmas
This is the gift of Christmas. This is the gift of God … God with us forever through the sacrifice of Jesus.
Will you receive this gift?
It’s free, and, yet, it costs you everything. Surrender your life to Jesus, and He will be with you, and you will be in Him, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Colossians 1:27b
Father, thank You for loving the world so much that You gave Your only begotten Son to live and die as the perfect sacrifice to pay for our sins, so that we could live with Him forever. We surrender our lives to You. What hope we have in You! Immanuel, thank You! Amen.
Please share what Christmas means to you in the Comment Section.
Wishing you a blessed Christmas filled with joy.
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9
Auschwitz is the story of evil, the story of endurance and strength, and the story of good in the midst of unthinkable evil.
Bart, our guide at Auschwitz, shared his family’s stories of survival and those of other survivors. I asked him how he “did this every day,” and he said that he could not “do it” every day. He had to take a day off after telling of the horrors of Auschwitz. Continue reading Never Forget the Lesson of Auschwitz