Are You Ready?

©Jeanne E Webster  –  all rights reserved

 

Are you ready for Christmas? I guess that depends on what I mean by “Christmas.”

Is your shopping done? Have you gotten all the gifts on your list?  If not, you’re not ready for Christmas. It takes quite an organized person to bring this about so early in the season. You still have two weeks to shop, select necessary items, make catalog purchases, order gifts online, and perhaps have time remaining to gift wrap, package, ship out, then take a deep breath of relief. You’ve got it all in hand. You’ve done your duty, to family and friends.

On the other hand…are you ready for Christmas? Are you ready to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ?

No shopping list needed, no gifts to buy, no weeks of shopping ahead, no hurrying and scurrying here and there in a frantic rush amid the masses. All you need is an open heart and a listening ear.

Do you hear the music? Listen…with your heart and spirit:

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O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie;

Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by.

Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting Light;

The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.

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For Christ is born of Mary; and gathered all above,

While mortals sleep, the angels keep their watch of wondering love.

O morning stars together proclaim the holy birth;

And praises sing to God the King, and peace to men on earth.

 

How silently, how silently the wondrous gift is given!

So God imparts to human hearts the blessings of His heaven.

No ear may hear His coming, but in this world of sin,

Where meek souls will receive Him, still the dear Christ enters in.

 

O holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray;

Cast out our sin, and enter in, be born in us today.

We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell;

O come to us, abide with us, our Lord Emmanuel. Amen

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Father, we celebrate the birth of your Son, Jesus Christ…

Your Heavenly gift to us so long ago on that dark night in Bethlehem town. No one heard His coming as Mary gave birth in a lowly manger. The angels heralded the news to meek souls below, as they told us that a Savior was born, which was Christ our Lord. As we sing praises and glory to you this Christmas day, we give thanks for this precious Child, our King. Come into our hearts, abide with us, O Lord, be born in us today! In His dear name we pray, amen.

Are you truly ready for Christmas? May we join together and say a heartfelt amen to that. AMEN!

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Oh My. . .How Sweet!


 

©Jeanne E Webster – all rights reserved

Luke 2:25-33 “And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Ghost was upon him.

And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.

And he came by the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law.

Then took he him up in his arms and blessed God and said, “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word. For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all people: a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.”

This passage of scripture is so fragrant with God’s outpouring of blessings upon mankind.

Simeon, an old man and mere servant of God, devoted to Him in all his ways, went to the temple after the Holy Spirit beckoned to him. He was told that someday he would see the Christ, the Messiah, before he died. Was this the time? Can you imagine the heart of this devoted servant straining to keep up with the flow of excitement surging through his veins? The Holy Spirit called; he responded. He was the right man at the right place at the right time. He would be the one to reveal the prophecy that Jesus’ significance would extend even to the Gentiles.

Also guided to the temple that very same hour were the parents of Jesus. Joseph and Mary were there to dedicate their firstborn son to the Lord. It was the customary law, along with offering a sacrifice of two turtledoves.

Simeon took the babe in his arms and blessed God! (This is the sweet part. .  holding baby Jesus in his arms. )  I have held many babies in my arms, and it was a rich blessing to snuggle each one of them. But–the Son of God, the Messiah, the Prince of Peace? How the arms must have trembled, the knees must have weakened; the head must have grown faint.  Oh My!

Yet. . . yet, Simeon raised his voice and said, “Lord, let me depart in peace now, for I have seen our salvation. He shall be a light to the Gentiles and the glory to your people Israel.”

No wonder Joseph and Mary marveled. Simeon was speaking about their firstborn son! One of the sweetest moments in history, folks.

Shalom

Don’t Mess with the Man!


© Jeanne E Webster. All rights reserved

 

“He is your praise and your God, who has done for you these great and awesome things which your eyes have seen.” Deut. 10:21

Moses spoke these words to Israel prior to their journey into the land of promise. He had placed the tables of stone into the ark as God had commanded, and now it was time for Israel to prove their mettle.

“Go in and possess the land which I have sworn unto your fathers.”

Moses exhorted Israel to:

Fear the Lord
Walk in all His ways
Love the Lord
Serve Him with all your heart and soul
Keep His laws
Circumcise the foreskin of your heart
Be flexible
Love the strangers among you
Trust the Lord

The exhortations above sound quite familiar, don’t they? As Christians, we hold to each of them in our daily walk with Christ. Moses was admonishing Israel to remember all that God had done for them and to cling to this great God who had brought them out of bondage. We too need this reminder.

It’s all too easy to interact with God as if He were a sugar daddy or an easy mark. NO! He is the awesome God of Israel, the great I AM! Don’t mess with the MAN! Fear Him, respect Him, stand before Him in awe, and esteem Him. He’s number ONE.

Walk in ways that reflect His love and mercy to others. Love Him with that bone-deep, heart-booming passion born from a worshipful spirit. Serve Him heartily, wholly, with all the gusto you can muster. Keep His commandments and you’ll reap many rewards. Discipline yourself, lean into the yoke and pull hard. Right next to you on the other side is Jesus. Just remember that.

Love the stranger among you, for you were once strangers also. Cling fast to the Lord and He will always be with you.

Make it a practice to praise the Lord–-with thanksgiving and a humble spirit. Think back to the wondrous moments He lightened your life. Ponder what He is doing for you right this moment. Praise Him, praise Him, praise Him . . . our wonderful Redeemer!

Amen

Earthy Stuff

 

 

© Jeanne E Webster – All Rights Reserved

 

Recently I heard someone describe many of our politicians as empty vessels, perhaps hinting at a dearth of ethics and/or morals in the political arena. The Apostle Paul wrote a letter to the Corinthian church regarding earthen vessels filled with the indwelling of God. (2 Cor. 4:1-18) What a contrast!

A return to the old covenant scripture reminds us that God dwelled in a tent among His people as evidence that He was with them. Today we know His presence within our hearts, placed there by that same Spirit of the living God as evidenced by the new covenant. Our power or strength had nothing to do with it. This treasure is none other than the gospel of Christ, the image of God.

You want to know more of God, then look fully into Jesus’ face!

Why would God see fit to put into our feeble bodies such a great treasure? So that the world may see Christ in us through the excellency of God’s power. Another fine contrast! He knows our frames, how weak we are, easily “troubled on every side yet not crushed, perplexed but not desperate, persecuted but not forsaken, cast down but not destroyed.” Yet we strive to live that the life of Jesus will be manifested in this mortal flesh. Though every day our physical bodies perish, every day we grow spiritually. We know and believe with certainty that God will raise us up in like manner as Christ.

Reflect upon the things that are not visible to the naked eye. The things we see are only temporal, while the invisible things are eternal. Shine forth into this world of darkness this light in earthen vessels, and may we clothe ourselves in thanksgiving for the great work God has done.
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“Spirit of God, descend upon my heart;
Wean it from earth, through all its pulses move;
Stoop to my weakness, mighty as Thou art,
And make me love Thee as I ought to love.

“Teach me to love Thee as Thine angels love
One holy passion filling all my frame
The baptism of the heaven-descended Dove,
My heart an altar and Thy love the flame.”
~George Croly

Shalom

You Gotta Have Heart

 

©Jeanne E Webster – All Rights Reserved

Psalm 139:23 “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know me and see if there be any wicked way in me…”

Recently I sought my doctor’s advice regarding a chronic imbalance problem.  He directed me to undergo a stress test to evaluate my heart’s functions.  The first phase of this test is a cardiac ultrasound machine which takes pictures of the heart in action prior to the stress-induced treadmill aspect. Following the treadmill exercise, the patient returns to the ultrasound machine for additional pictures of the heart which is now recovering from the stress.

As I lay upon the table underneath the machine, I watched its creeping movement as it tediously crossed over the chest area, clicking photos as it swept the heart area from the right to the left. Words from a psalmist came to mind as this medical contraption fulfilled its duty for the technician. “Search me, oh God, and know my heart…”

Laying there I prayed, “Lord, search my heart and my spirit as this machine is doing. Search out any defects or irregularities that inhibit my heart and make it whole again. You are the Creator and know me through and through. You don’t need pictures to review; you made all the parts. I lay here spread out before you and confess any sinful willfulness. Repair my heart, Lord, and correct its path. Point it in sync with your will and purpose. Thank you, Father. You are the Great Technician. In Jesus’ name.”

Amen!

He is. . . .

He is. . . .
©Jeanne E Webster – All Rights Reserved

 

Do you hear him?
Do you feel him?
Do you know him?
Do you love him?

No matter who you are
No matter where you live
No matter what you’ve done
No matter what you look like

Jesus Christ is calling you
Jesus Christ is seeking you
Jesus Christ is loving you
Jesus Christ is saving you.

He is the Son of God
He is the Messiah
He is the Redeemer
He is the Lord and King.

Answer his call
Open your heart
Repent of your sins
Receive his forgiveness.

Believe he died for your sins
Believe he is the Messiah
Believe he is the Son of God
Believe he is your lord and king.

How about it?
Do you believe . . . in Him?
I’m praying that you do!

Amen

Starry Eyed


©Jeanne E Webster – All Rights Reserved

Psalm 139:17-18
“How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them.  If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand…”

A team of astronomers has estimated that our universe contains about 70 sextillion (1 followed by 21 zeros) stars that can be seen through telescopes, with sextillions more too far away to be counted.[*] What is more amazing is that there are more stars in the heavens than all the grains of sand on our world’s deserts and beaches!

David could not have counted the grains of sand nor the stars in the heavens, yet he tells us that our God thinks of us more times than that. By all means then we have a 24-7 life-time guaranteed Caretaker. Unthinkable! How awesome!

Our God is great and greatly to be praised. His might and majesty are unsearchable. How wondrous and awesome is our Creator, full of goodness and righteousness.

“Be gracious unto us, our merciful God and Father. Blessed be Thy name forever. Amen.”

*[The calculation was made by a team led by astronomer Dr. Simon Driver of the Australian National University in Canberra and announced this week at the 25th General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union in Sydney.]