Tag Archives: angels

Angel Armies

 

 

 

angelarmy

 

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, (insert a name) but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.  Ephesians 6:12  NKJV

I have been in Ephesians the last few weeks.  This verse has been coming to mind as my life battles this season:  holidays, over-hill, singleness, life problems, relationships, careening toward retirement.  During my study of the “fear nots” I discovered what frightens me (mankind) the most is relationships-people!  This verse says our fear fight in not with PEOPLE!  It is with something we cannot see.  It is an angelic battle for the souls of man.  We are caught between heaven and hell–literally–from first to final breath.  Chip Ingram of Living on the Edge said “with every trial Heaven and Hell both have an agenda.  Satan’s agenda is our destruction and death; God’s agenda is abundant life.”  (This is a rough paraphrase out of his study on Nehemiah, Facing Adversity.  I highly recommend you listen to this series.)

As I have pondered anew the story of the birth of the Savior, I am struck with sudden awareness: our Savior was also caught in this spiritual battle JUST AS WE ARE from the moment of His immaculate conception.  Once He left His heavenly home, He was marked as enemy #1.   If we look closely at His story we can feel the battle raging around His sweet life.

An angel approaches Mary to “bring good tidings of great joy.”

His sweet mama, is now branded and at risk of stoning, (demonic activity to stir discord and hate) but an angel of God intervenes and told Joseph, “fear not to take Mary as his wife.”

On the night He was to open the womb of His mama, not one soul would open their doors and give this young woman shelter, food, and a clean bed.  Hell was trying to prevent His safe arrival.

Many angels appeared to some shepherds and said, “fear not for unto you a child is born, unto you a Son is given,” and they sang His praises.  The reason–He was born safely and was nestled in His mother’s arms!

Herod (Satan in the flesh) issues a decree for a mini holocaust of 2 year olds in Bethlehem!!!  Who but Satan himself would do that?

An angel sent by God warns Joseph and off to Egypt they flee to safety.  But what of the broken hearts of all the other families?  There were many casualties of this battle.

Jesus, our sweet Jesus, was battled over His whole life.  He was tempted like as we are in all things. (Hebrews 4:15)  Do you see the battle of the “spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places” amongst mankind?  Our struggle is REALLY not with people.  It is with an unseen enemy.  Jesus came to offer each of us His grace:  He chooses to see us as He created us to be not as we are.  He came to provide the power to live victoriously despite the sometime vicious attacks by giving us the very armor of God.   He came because He wanted to redeem His creation.  He came to prove we can live holy lives, at peace with God and man.

https://youtu.be/x-djRRFxOMk

Let There Be Peace on Earth by Harlem Boys Choir

Our world seems to be going to hell in a handbasket.  The nightly news is enough to discourage the most courageous, optimistic heart.  Christmas is a season when we all want our lives to look like a Norman Rockwell painting and to feel like the Waltons and when we can’t find it, our preconceived expectations ruin the holidays, ruin relationships, ruin lives, and rob us of the joy and abundant life He came to bring.

Our struggle is not with the people around us!  Our struggle is with an unseen enemy that we each at one time or another have allowed to use our lives to impact another negatively.  We unknowingly participate in a heavenly struggle for supreme power and control.  We allow the enemy of our souls to use God’s holy objects (man’s actions, words, deeds) for very unholy purposes.

Maybe instead of beating ourselves and others up this coming year we could take the time to recognize where our attitudes, our actions, and our aspirations may originate.  If we would do this, the heavenly battle would be more of a skirmish than a juggernaut.

The battle in the heavenlies is real.  These heavenly hosts are warriors!  It is brutal even for the angels.  The good news is we KNOW who prevails!  King Jesus and His holy angels!

“Glory to God in the Highest and on Earth Peace, Goodwill Toward Men.” (Luke 2:14)

Treading with angel armies

Von Jones

 

Joseph’s Dream

 

joseph-s-dream-in-the-stable-in-bethlehem-1645

Luke records Mary’s story.  This makes perfect sense because he was a physician.  He was fascinated by the miraculous birth.  Matthew, or Levi as he is also called, records Joseph’s story.  Matthew was a tax collector, a publican.  He was concerned with helping others connect the dots to see Jesus as the Promised Messiah.  He was a Jew appealing to his countrymen to see Jesus for who He really was:  Not a good man, but as the Long expected Savior.

Matthew 1:18-25 and Matthew 2:12-21

Joseph is of the house of David just like Mary.  He is a good man:  gentle, respectful, kind, considerate, honorable, and a man of faith.  He is legally married to a young maid and is in the process of preparing their home.  Until he gets his house ready, he cannot go get his bride to bring her home and before God and man, consummate the union.

Mary has returned from cousin Elizabeth’s and shared her experience.  Pregnant by a light, going to have a son, told to call this baby Jesus.  Who on earth would believe this?  She is visibly  pregnant.   What is a man to do?   Joseph has the first of three encounters with an angel as he sleeps.  Mary saw her angel and was wide awake.  Joseph is visited in his dreams.  The first dream occurs as Joseph is trying to figure out how to dissolve the marriage without getting Mary stoned to death.  He is good and kind but he has his pride and it is wounded.

The angel gives Joseph four, not one but FOUR confirmations Mary is telling him the truth:

  1. She is pregnant by the Holy Spirit.
  2. She will have a son and His name is to be JESUS
  3. This child will be the Savior of the World
  4. The angel quotes Isaiah’s prophecy of a virgin shall conceive…..

This is exactly what Mary told him as she recounted her experience.  (Luke 1:28-38)

Joseph realizes he has been asked by God Himself to watch over His Son and the mother of His Son, this woman Joseph loves.  Joseph gets up in the middle of the night and goes to get Mary and take her home.  His protection of her begins IMMEDIATELY!  He covers her “shame” in the eyes of the law by claiming this child as his very own.  Going in the middle of the night to get your bride was not unusual in Jewish culture! (Matthew 25:1-13, Luke 12:35-38)

Joseph is visited a second time as Herod prepares to have all baby boys under the age of two in Bethlehem killed because he will tolerate not even a baby “king.”  Joseph is directed by God through the visitation of the angel in his dreams to get up again, in the middle of the night and go immediately under the cover of darkness to Egypt.

In Joseph’s third dream,  God once more directs him through the angel to return to Israel.  Everything is to add weight to Joseph’s knowledge and understanding,  this child is indeed the long expected Messiah.  Jesus.  Immanuel, God with us.

Do we need to take time out to dream?  We are told,  “AND IT SHALL BE IN THE LAST DAYS,’ God says, ‘THAT I WILL POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT ON ALL MANKIND; AND YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY, AND YOUR YOUNG MEN SHALL SEE VISIONS, AND YOUR OLD MEN SHALL DREAM DREAMS.”  (Joel 2:28, Acts 2:17 NAS)  God was pouring out His Spirit on Joseph to direct the care and provide protection for His Son!  We too are His Sons and Daughters and this is His Word to us.    Do we not dream because we are so wrapped up and bogged down in fear and anxiety?  I see NOTHING  but calm and peace in Joseph.  Do you find this as amazing as I do?  One more time, Proverbs 3:5-6 should be our mantra:  Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and HE SHALL DIRECT YOUR PATHS!

Jesus was not Joseph’s child and Mary could not have known all they would face.  Neither do we.  Whatever is going on in your life right now, could you ponder this lesson and lay down the burden of responsibility of how it will all work out?  It really is not our job!  Lay it down and rest.  You just might see God.  He is still on the throne!  He is still dispatching angels to deliver His Word and direct us.  We need only trust and obey!

https://youtu.be/Hui3emqJS2Q

Phil Vasser and Julianne Hough  It Wasn’t His Child/Mary Did You Know

Treading in awe of such faith,

 

 

Tiding of Great Joy

 

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“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the fields, keeping watch over their flocks by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them and the were sore afraid.  And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.  And this shall be a sign unto you, You shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.  And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known to us.  And they came with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.  And when they had seen it (him), they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.  And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.”  Luke 2:8-20

The good tidings of great joy!

The announcement of the most important birth in the history of the world came to shepherds abiding in the fields outside of Bethlehem.  Shepherds!  Most probably the least influential people of that day.   Most were outcasts. They were the lower class of society.   They worked on the Sabbath!!!  No one was to work on the Sabbath; it was against Jewish law.   Because they could not keep the Jewish laws,  they were considered unclean. But, their profession was essential to the Jews.  The people needed sheep to bring to the temple for the sacrifices.

John MacArthur notes that Rabbinic teaching “required that flocks be kept only in wilderness areas.” (http://www.gty.org/resources)  Bethlehem is located about six miles from Jerusalem. The area between Jerusalem and Bethlehem would have been purposely used to keep the sheep for sacrificing.  The sheep would be close enough to be available but not so close as to break Rabbinic laws.

These particular shepherds may have been caring for the sheep that would used as sacrifices. If they were in charge of shepherding the sheep to be used in the temple, they may well have believed in God.   They would have been aware of the need for a quarter of a million animals killed during Passover.  They had probably heard the priest speak of a day when there would be no more sacrifices.  A day when their Messiah would be with them.  Immanuel. God with us was their hope.  Maybe they heard discussions of what Yahweh had told the prophets concerning the coming of this one who would be their shepherd.  I can imagine them re-tell stories they had heard about David and his shepherding skills.  Yes, I believe because of their actions when they heard the good news, they believed in the true and living God.


If we believe in the true and living God, can the world tell by our actions?


 

They could have been devout righteous men who were looking for the Messiah to come. MacArthur writes, “How interesting that the announcement of the final and full sacrifice, the Lamb of God slain from before the foundation of the world, the Savior of the world, was made to shepherds, who very likely took care of sheep who were offered as pictures of that coming sacrifice.” (http://gty.org/resources)

When the angel appears, the shepherds were frightened just like we would be.  But they believed the message given to them.  We see that they “made haste.” (Luke 2:16)  They didn’t want to miss this one who would be the Savior.  Once they saw the baby, they didn’t just go on back to the fields and forget about it.   “When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child.” (verse 17)  They did not keep it to themselves.  They felt great joy and they spread their excitement.  “And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds,” (verse 18)

We are separated by 2000 years from Jesus’ birth.  The story has become so familiar to us that we lose the excitement that the shepherds felt.  This same Jesus who was born in a stable told us in His love letter to us that he will return.   The wonder of Jesus birth and the anticipation of His return is “good news”.   Ask the Lord God to revive the wonder and excitement of His story this Christmas.   Then go out and tell someone the good news that we have a Savior who came as a baby born in a stable, announced to the least of society, and given to a young couple of humble means.  He has come to bring us forgiveness of our sins and an eternal home in heaven with Him.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son” John 3:16

 

 
https://youtu.be/PvxobziZ7jY
Angels We Have Heard on High
Pentatonix

Merry Christmas

Freda Reynolds

Available in the Moment; Eternal Significance

 

Luke 1: 38

And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.  And the angel departed from her. th72zzgn5d

Gabriel, the archangel, the one who “stands in the presence of God; and is sent to speak unto Mary and to show her glad tidings,”  has just left the stage: Left Mary standing in awe.   Mary, a simple Jewish girl of the house of David, is now carrying Heaven’s most precious treasure.  The angel appeared out of nowhere and said, “Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.”  (Luke 1:28) This is the same Gabriel who spoke with Daniel the prophet, telling Daniel he was greatly loved. Also, this heavenly messenger came in response to Daniel’s prayer (Daniel 9:23) and spoke to Zacharias in answer to the prayers of he and his wife.  I do not know what Gabriel looked like.  I know from other scriptures being in the presence of God changes your appearance (Moses on the mount receiving the commandments and Jesus on the mount speaking face to face with His Father and Moses and Elijah) so I am thinking he appeared “otherworldly,” shining with the radiance of holiness.   His words are kind and who would not want to hear, “thou art highly favored?”

Then he drops a bombshell on this young teen.  You are going to have a baby, and by the way, He is God’s Son, the long expected Messiah, He will be a king, and you call Him, Jesus. (Luke 1:31-32)    Is Mary a girl shaking her head back and forth rapidly so as to clear her head of what could not possibly be happening?

She is a virgin.  There is NO WAY on earth she can be pregnant.  She is engaged, not yet married.  In the eyes of Jewish law, the marriage is already binding but has not been consummated.  So, she dares to ask:  “Ummm, do you want to tell me just how this is possible?”  A reasonable question don’t you think?  And how is she going to explain all this to her husband?   (Luke 1:27, 34)

Mary then had the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, the “cloud” of God, the very Presence of God, come upon her.  (Luke 1:35)  In the Greek this is “eperchomai,” which means to arrive, to occur, to impend, to attack.  It comes to “impart power to set free and to equip one to do the same for others.”  (Building a Bridge, Part 2 by Rev Lee Allen Howard)    As the Spirit of God came upon her, His Shekinah glory overshadowed or “episkiazo” her (enveloped in a haze of brilliancy).  God Himself “opened a portal” to come and dwell among us.   Did she take her shoes off?  She was standing on very holy ground.  Oh, what a holy moment.

Mary was wrapped in God’s love.  Her spirit became intimate with the Spirit of God and she was filled with the Son of the Most High God.  Did her countenance change?  I believe the answer is Absolutely!  Any time God’s Presence was faced, the countenance was changed.  Was Mary ever the same?  No, she was forever changed.

Her response to this moment of time was a simple, “Yes, Lord.”  She accepted His desire for her life and in so doing was filled with power and equipped for the task.  Because she carried Immanuel, God with us, she was imparting power and equipping others to do the same for all eternity!   All that God did is revealed in her Magnificant  found in Luke 1:46-54:  “the Lord regarded the low estate of His handmaid (slave),….He has done great things,….His mercy is on all generations, ….He has shown His strength,…He has put down the mighty,….He has filled the hungry,…..He helped His servant Israel,…..He has spoken,….He has remembered His mercy (covenant).”  Mary praises the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  She has been chosen to be the vessel of the Lord, the long awaited ONE!

What happens when we are “eperchomai” and “episkiazo”:  come upon and overshadowed by the Spirit of the Living God?  The portal of our heart is opened and He moves in and we are never the same.  We become a new creature and old things are passed away.  (II Corinthians 5:17)  We have God with us!  God in us!   Our natural response should be, “Yes, Lord, be unto me according to thy Word.”  We too become the chosen ones:  Sons and daughters of the Most High God!

Josh Groban –O Holy Night

https://youtu.be/4Zh-yR0pbmU

 

 

Easter 2016

This Blood Is for You by Carman

Matthew 28:5-6  “And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye:  for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.   He is NOT HERE; for HE IS RISEN, as He said.”  (KJV)

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Angels-yes, more than one!  Moving earth to move a stone.  Greeting Jesus as He exited the grave with the keys of our spiritual prison cells and believers’ death certificates in His hand.  Knocking out soldiers with a glance.  God’s spokesmen, bearers of “good tidings of great joy to all people,” once again saying as they did thirty three years earlier, “Do not be afraid.”  So like angels.

Three women-Mary the mother of Jesus, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.  They all loved Jesus and are in mourning.  They watched Him die and have come “on the first day of the week, very early in the morning,” to finish burial rites they were unable to complete because of the Passover celebration and Sabbath.  Their number one concern?  Who will move the stone set in place over the tomb to prevent the stealing of the corpse. So like women.

Soldiers-Roman centurions, an elite contingent of warriors assigned to not let anyone near the tomb for three days so Rome could insure the dead remained dead.  They knew the prophecy of rising in three days.  Wasn’t going to happen on their watch!  The penalty for failure to complete the mission was understood: death.  So like a soldier.

Disciples-in mourning, scattered, confused, in hiding and headed back to former occupations like fishing.  So like a men.  

The actors of a play written before eternity began fulfilling their respective roles in the drama of eternity; the production: Resurrection-Not What We Expected.

The fears: (described as greatly perplexed, afraid, trembling and amazed, fleeing)? Count them:

  1. two earthquakes in three days shaking the earth, their composure and moving the stone     
  2. graves opened and those who had died were seen in the city (Matthew 27:51-53   And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split. The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many.…  ) Would this freak you out?  I thought so.                 
  3. angels with glowing faces, booming voices, and stark white clothing outside and inside the tomb wrapped in light of God’s Glory in the predawn
  4. Roman soldiers stationed around the tomb-all lying on the ground like dead men
  5. Jesus is missing-the grave clothes are there looking as if he has been teleported out of them
  6. not being believed when they reported their experience
  7. doors barred to prevent capture, arrest

God, the Father, has once again done the unexpected.  Or was it?  Jesus had told His followers and the Jewish establishment He would rise on the third day.  Would you have believed that?  Well, maybe.  After all He raised Lazarus after four days.  But…….

Rome sure believed it was possible.  Think about this:  the priests asked for a guard at the tomb, a contingency plan just in case Jesus did “rise from the dead,” and Rome complied.  Two arch enemies still conspiring together.  Only God could have written this drama!

Women, the first to hear the good news.  Ladies, God uses us to spread the message!  He knows we can talk!  He knows we are loyal!  He knows who can get a group motivated and moving!  The women left the tomb quickly (Mark says they fled) and “with fear (awe) and great joy and ran to bring His disciples word.” (Matthew 28:8)

But here is the real kicker.  Jesus meets the women as they were running to share the events of the morning with the disciples and Jesus tells them “do not be afraid.”  No Fear Ladies!  Go tell “My brothers (another word for disciples, followers) to go to Galilee and there they will see ME!”  Twice they have been reminded in the span of only a few minutes not to be afraid: once from the angel and now from Jesus Himself!  

“Easter tells us of something children can’t understand, because it addresses things they don’t yet have to know:  the weariness of life, the pain, the profound loneliness and hovering fear of meaninglessness.”  Frederica Mathewes-Green

He IS RISEN!  He is no longer a vision of torture:  skin dripping from his upper body from the scourging, eyes swollen shut and face unrecognizable from the beating and thorns forced into his head, holes the size of railroad spikes in His wrists, feet, and a deep laceration in His side, covered in blood.  He no longer smells of sweat, blood, and death.    Now, Jesus, surrounded by the fragrance of the Rose of Sharon, is as soft and whole as a newborn baby, but with scars;  His robes radiating the glory of His Father, and speaking in the voice they know so well saying to the whole human race: “you do not need to be afraid, perplexed, doubtful.  Fear not!”  This was all for YOU!

 Jesus’ word can be believed.  What He says He will do.  It may not come in a way we expect, but come it will.  Always has.  Always will.  “Fear ye not o daughters of Sion.” (March 16th, 2016)

He’s Alive by Guy Penrod

Walking by the water with Him,

Yvonne

Scriptures:  Matthew 27:51-53, 28:1-10, Mark 16: 1-8, Luke 24: 1-11, and John 20: 1-8

One Last Angelic Visit

Matthew chapter 2 records the final act of the Nativity play.  Magi, not magicians, but wise men, students of the stars:  not astrologers but astronomers.  Not men looking to stars to tell them how to run their life, but men searching for God’s signature in the stars.

Psalm 19:1-6

It is speculated these magi from the East were JEWS!  How you ask?  When Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem and carried the children of Israel off into captivity in Babylon, they were forced to live in a foreign land for 70 years until Cyrus the Great released them to return.  Some Jews by this time had acclimated to life in Babylon and Persia and did not return to the homeland.  But, they were still Jews!  They were still being taught the Scriptures, the prophecies of Messiah, and they were students of Yahweh.  Some believe this Eastern school of learned men were remnants of those taught by Daniel.  Sounds logical to me.  Who else would be looking for Messiah?  The Promised ONE.

So around 1-2 BC, the skies begin to declare the glory of God.  All the stars flung into place and named by God Himself begin to move and a star of unparalleled brightness emerges and stands over the little town of Bethlehem.  

He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name.  (Psalm 147:4)

Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.  (Isaiah 40:26)

He is the Maker of the Bear and Orion, the Pleiades and the constellations of the south. (Job 9:9)

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”  (Micah 5:2)

These Magi see this star and ride!  Saddle up the camels we are headed West, we are headed toward our homeland.  We are going to see Messiah, King of the Jews.  Others saw the star, they did not follow it nor note its importance.  But these WISE men did and because they did their story is still being told.

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By the time they arrive, the star is STILL shining.  This child is no longer in the manger where Shepherds saw Him, He is in a house and a toddler (somewhere between 6mos and two years).  They find Him and WORSHIP by bowing down and bringing gifts.  We can learn something from these wise men about worship.  Bow down, humble yourself.  They did this before a TODDLER!  We Americans find this act of bowing incredibly difficult.  It is called pride.  It is an act of rebellion.  We must learn to bow down for He is a King.  They brought gifts.  But as a mother, I wonder did Mary want to throw them out of her house?  These men had the audacity to bring gold, frankincense, and myrrh.  Expensive?  Yes.  Needed?  As a mother of a toddler one would  certainly hope not!  These are gifts used to prepare a body for burial!  Gold, money to purchase a tomb.  Frankincense is needed for pain management and to promote calmness in the dying.  Myrrh used to anoint the body for burial to reduce odor of decay.  Sweet heaven, does she have to face His fate right now?  Can she not just enjoy her baby?

Mary knows the prophecy.  She knows her son is to be a King but she also knows He is to be a sacrifice.  Luke 2:19 says Mary pondered all this. I think this was the first piercing of her heart that Zacharias mentioned.    Does any of this make sense to you?  Me either!  

Then, enter the last angelic visit to Joseph in a dream.  The command:  “Get up NOW! Not tomorrow, NOW and go to Egypt.”  Ok, wait just one minute.  God wants me to take Mary, the baby, in the middle of the night, and go to Egypt?  Does God remember that we LEFT there because we were slaves and the Egyptians HATE Jews?  Again, this makes NO SENSE at all.  Here is the reality.  They were safer in Egypt than in Israel where Herod lived.  Herod would kill every boy child two years old and younger out of jealousy over a would be two year old king talked about in some ancient manuscript.  

For the second time since His conception, God has intervened to save the life of Jesus until the appointed time of His death.  Yes, He was born to die.  His cup,  (December 2, 2015, Cup of Christmas: Capturing the Blessings of God)  His fate was to be a sacrificial LAMB.  

Joseph was visited a total of three times by an angel to direct his care of the Christ child.  All three times he heeded the instructions.  ASTOUNDING.  No dialogue.  No argument.  No questions.  Just obedience.  No wonder he was chosen to be the earthly father of the Savior.  His example of obedience to God’s word could not be surpassed.

This past June the “Star of Bethlehem” reappeared in the sky as Venus and Jupiter came into close conjunction once again for the first time in 2000 years.  I saw it.  It was spectacular!  Brightest star I have ever seen.  Many believe the Lord is once again using the stars to tell His story and indeed may be heralding His return.  I have no idea if this sign in the sky along with four blood moons and a solar eclipse are all declaring His return.  What I do know is this:  If we are Wise men and women we will examine our hearts and prepare the way of the Lord, ponder His love for us in our hearts, be obedient to His word, and be ready to bow down and worship when He returns.  This time when He comes it will be with a SHOUT! and every eye shall see it. (Don’t ask me how-I haven’t a clue.)

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Luke 19:40 says that if we do not declare His return then the very stones will cry out this good news.  

19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that[h] the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.  (Romans 8:19-21)

Each character in the Nativity play is vital to the narrative.  Each one’s cup was filled to overflowing.  Each one’s fate was assigned by God Himself.  But we must not forget, Jesus fate is also in His cup and it is a bitter cup indeed.  Jesus accepted His cup when He said, “not my will but thine be done.”  For this purpose He took on dust.  Because Jesus said, “Yes” to His Father’s plan, a plan set out before the foundation of the world, we have our cup filled with fear transformed into a cup of hope.

This is the gift of CHRISTmas.  

We Three Kings by A Hero for the World

The Bethlehem Star Documentary

Yvonne

Fear Not Said the Angel (#4)

Luke 2:10  And the angel said unto them (shepherds), Fear not: for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  (KJV)


 

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I have noticed in most, if not all, occassions when an angel shows up their first words are “Fear not.”  STRANGE?  They are bringing a message from God’s throne and it is “good tidings of great joy” not only to the original recipient of the news but “to all people.”

So, why the fear?  I have a theory:  The God glory the angels reflects is so holy and mankind is so not holy for all our God glory has “leaked out through our soul holes.” Is this reflection enough to convict us or is it we recognize our intended Garden of Eden state–clothed in light and God glory?  When sin entered did we lose our clothes of light and become naked requiring our desperate attempt to cover our shame?  Leaves sewn together did not quite do it and God intervened to offer the first sacrifice to clothe His wayward, most treasured creation with skin.

The good news brought that winter night (or whenever it was) was that the final sacrifice had arrived as promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  Spotless, sinless, holy Lamb of God-a baby boy, Son of God.  His blood would cleanse all people.  This is the FEAR NOT we most long to hear–Fear not, this lamb is for you!  He will again clothe you in the light of His boundless love, and we will once again be a pure and holy people–friends of God, walking together in unity and without any FEAR.  Wrapped in God glory.  Yes, this is indeed “good tidings of great joy!”  

“Lowly” (meaning poor, uneducated, humble) shepherds heard it first because they cared for the lambs that were sacrificed daily in the Temple and soon,  yes, very soon there would be no need for this any more!

A Baby Changes Everything by Faith Hill

Shepherd’s Song

The Shepherd’s Song (God with Us) by Hearts of Saints

Yvonne