“God with us” : Our Hope from a Child

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“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means ‘God with us’). Matthew 1:23

 “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord.” (Luke 2:11)

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The baby’s eyes reflect the Light;

Conceived to serve mankind,

Little hands and feet will grow

To endure the pain of nails.

A savior born to redeem must die.

Can it be that one so small

Bears such a weight as this.

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The child, the man, the Son–as One,

Carrying the burden of promise-

At the Manger, the Garden, the Cross;

Compassion, redemption, salvation.

A cry at birth, a cry at death.

Can it be that one so small

Bears such a weight as this.

The Reason to Rejoice this Season—and all Seasons

Then the shepherds returned, glorifying God and praising God for

all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.”

(Luke 2:20)

 As it has been told to us through the Word, let us rejoice in the birth

of Jesus and the fulfillment of the prophecy that led to our salvation.

(Sharon G. Tate 12/25/16 blog) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word

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SINGING PRAISES TO OUR LORD

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Approaching the Lord

In vocal praise,

With words of song,

Penned from hearts

Joyful with love

To the God of grace,

Thankful with hope

To the God of mercy.

 Throughout scripture, it is evidenced that men and women sang praises to the Lord:

Psalms 95:1– O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the Rock of our salvation.

Colossians 3:16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.

Exodus 5: 1-2 -Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the Lord: “I will sing to the Lord, for He is highly exalted. Both horse and driver He has hurled into the sea. The Lord is my strength and my defense; He has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise Him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.”

Ephesians 5:19 – Speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord.

Psalms 13:6 – I will sing the Lord’s praise, for He has been good to me.

James 5:13 – Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.

Psalms 105:2 -Sing to Him, sing praise to Him; tell of all His wonderful acts.

1 Corinthians 14:15 -So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my understanding; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my understanding.

Isaiah 12:5 -Sing to the Lord, for He has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world.

Acts 16:25 – About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.

Psalms 71:8 – My mouth is filled with Your praise, declaring Your splendor all day long.                         

Hebrews 2:12– I will declare Your name to my brothers and sisters;  in the assembly I will sing Your praises.

Psalms 104:33 -I will sing to the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as l live.

Approaching the Lord

With vocal praise,

Raising our voices

In song and hymn

To our listening God,

Who hears our hearts

Speaking love,

Offering thanks.

 Let us be like the Psalmist David and sing to the Lord all our lives, offering praise to our God as long as we each shall live on this earth—and beyond into eternity with Him.

(Sharon  G. Tate blog 12/18/16) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word

The Wise Seek Wisdom: The Journey to Worship Christ

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“It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.” 1

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1Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East, and have come to worship him.”

. . .Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star appeared; and he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” When they had heard the king they went their way; and lo, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. (Matthew 2:1-2, 7-10)

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The wise men did not need Herod to prod them to follow the star in search of the Christ child. They had already determined in their hearts and minds that this was their path. They had traveled far and would not be deterred from seeking and worshipping Him who was prophesied.

The guide: A night light in the sky to lead them to the Light who would extinguish all night, all fear of darkness.

They had seen His star in the East.  Significantly, the east is the place of sunrise.  A new dawn for mankind was beginning in a birth that would change the world. The wise men came to worship this child who would grow and keep “increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men” (Luke 2:52). As a young lad of twelve, He would be found “sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions; 47 and all who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers”  (Luke 2:46-47). As a grown man, He would teach in the synagogue; and the teachers would be awed by His learning: “Where did this man get these things, and what is this wisdom given to him, and such miracles as these performed by his hands?” (Mark 6:2)

But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption… (I Corinthians 1:30)

The wise men sought the one who, they believed, had “been born king of the Jews.” They had traveled a great distance to find Him. “The star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came to rest over the place where the child was” (Matthew 27:9).  Although they did not understand His kingdom would not be of this earth, they were right to seek Him and worship Him, the embodiment of “wisdom from God.”  When we, likewise, choose to seek and worship the Lord, He will go before us, guide us, and lead us through the darkness, even if by a glimmer, until His full glory is revealed.

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word. After He had provided purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. (Hebrews 1:3)

And the wise still seek Him– not by a star, not by fate, not by destiny but by an earnest desire and need to find the Christ and worship Him.

1 Lisa Mantchev, Eyes Like Stars. www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/stars

(Sharon G. Tate blog 12/11/16) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word

God’s Timing: Always the Right Time for His Purpose

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 26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of his father David, 33 and He will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; His kingdom will never end.”

34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”

38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.  (Luke 1:26-38)

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“How will this be?”  We, like Mary, may ask this question when our limited human understanding cannot comprehend God’s unlimited power. We are grounded by gravity on this earth and think in terms of the physical instead of the spiritual. Having a child as a virgin was inconceivable during Mary’s time. It would be a miracle. If this occurred today, however, many people would, more than likely, reason that it was a conception of scientific achievement, controlled by man, and not a miracle of God. The question in our time might be phrased in a different way: “How will this be done by scientific methods?”  

 1To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, And a time to die…”  (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2)

Why that time period for “the holy one to be born (who) will be called the Son of God?”  It was God’s selected time for His purpose to be fulfilled. God’s perfect timing.  To the One who sees and foresees what we cannot, the child to be named Jesus was conceived and born at exactly the right time in the right place to the right person in human history.

Whatever plans God has for you and for me, we must trust as the right timing in the right place with purposeful planning through Godly intervention. Our response should be like Mary’s: “I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled.”

(Sharon G. Tate 12/04/16) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word