The Greatest Gift

“Take your son, your only son—yes, Isaac, whom you love so much—and go to the land of Moriah.
Go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, 
which I will show you.”
(Genesis 22:2, NLT)

The first time ”love” is mentioned in the Bible is in this Scripture. Abraham had walked with God for many years, and God had promised Abraham that he would be the father of many descendants through Isaac. Now, God told him to sacrifice Isaac, the son of promise, the son he loves, his only son.

Only son . . . Loved son . . . Sacrificial son

For three days, Abraham and Isaac, along with servants, walked to the land of Moriah, Jerusalem today. For three days, Abraham focused on the death of Isaac and his resurrection, for he knew God could raise Isaac from the dead, Hebrews 11:19. But God provided Himself a ram for the sacrifice, Genesis 22:8-14.

“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. ‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.'” (John 3:14-16, ESV)

No food, no water, only manna from heaven, and the Israelites complained to Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness?” As a result, God sent fiery serpents to bite and kill many of them. They confessed their sin to Moses, and Moses prayed to God on their behalf. God told him to make a bronze serpent and put it on a pole. Everyone who had been bitten was to look at the serpent and live. (Numbers 21:4-9)

Sin confessed . . . Advocate prayed . . . Life restored

A picture of what was to come. A picture of the Good News.

Even though all people have sinned (Romans 3:23), God loved the world so much that He sent His only Son, Jesus, to pay the price for your sins and my sins, so that we might have eternal life. That life is knowing our Everlasting God and Jesus (John 17:3).

Gift of Forgiveness . . . Gift of Eternal Life . . . The Greatest Gift

When we think of Christmas, we think of Gabriel announcing to unmarried Mary that she will bear the Savior of the world. We think of the trek from Nazareth to Bethlemen and no place for Mary to give birth to Jesus. We think of the manger, the shepherds coming to see Jesus, and the gifts of the wise men.

Then, we turn our eyes to Christmas decorations, purchasing gifts and wrapping them, cooking, and festivities. Do you still send Christmas cards?

A time to turn from our busy preparations and meditate on why it was necessary for God to send His Son into the world.

Beginning in Genesis 3:15 and throughout the Bible, God shows the world that He will provide a Messiah who will defeat Satan and sin, One who will pay the price for all sin. “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)

The message of Christmas: God loved the world and sent His Son to bring eternal life.

Father, thank You for loving the world so much that You sent Jesus to pay the price for our sins so that we could live with You forever. We praise You for this amazing gift. We celebrate the greatest gift we could ever receive. In Jesus’ name, amen.

How are you celebrating Christmas?

Merry Christmas!

Walking in the Light in a Dark World

“When the words of God enter into the chambers of the heart then light is scattered on all sides,” C.H. Spurgeon.[i]

“Your testimonies [commandments] are wonderful; 
therefore my soul keeps them. 
The unfolding of your words gives light; 
it imparts understanding to the simple
,” Psalm 119:129-30 (ESV).

My prayer for you is that you will find that God’s Word is unfolding in your minds and hearts so that these holy words light your path to understanding more fully what the glorious riches of abiding in Jesus are. 

Continue reading Walking in the Light in a Dark World

Who Are YOU?

You’re a sojourner on earth walking hand-in-hand with other believers, led by Jesus to a better country, a heavenly country.

  • You are living stones being united with other believers into a dwelling place for God
  • You are a holy priesthood, a royal priesthood
  • You are a chosen generation
  • You are a holy nation, a multitude of people united by Jesus
  • You are God’s possession
  • You are forgiven
  • You are a sojourner and pilgrim on your way to God’s heavenly kingdom

Almighty God, Creator of the universe, Gracious Father, thank You for sending Your only begotten Son, Jesus, into the world to save Your people from themselves. Jesus, lead us to our heavenly country. We want to see You face-to-face. Amen.

What does your pilgrimage look like?

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Prayerfully Pausing … A Marvelous Moment

There are times when the words don’t come. Days when I’m so distraught, that words can’t describe the depth of my pain. Nights when I’m too exhausted to pray. Hours when I’m not sure what to pray. Minutes when I realize that the compromise soured. Friend, have you been there? What if the perplexing moments, the seconds that cause us to pause, are the touchpoints that God uses to lead us to joy?

The art is in the pause … the prayerful pause.

woman in white sweater and blue denim jeans sitting on bed
Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels.com
Continue reading Prayerfully Pausing … A Marvelous Moment