One of my favorite things is learning about all of God’s different names. Last year, @bydesignorg did a study about the Names if God called #rescyouedstudy and of course Immanuel was included in the study. “Immanuel (Em·man·ou·ēl) is a name for God that is used three times in Scripture—twice in Isaiah (prophecy) and once in Matthew (fulfillment of prophecy). This particular name reveals God’s desire to dwell with us and expresses the wonder of the incarnation of Jesus Christ. Studying the many names used for Jesus Christ throughout the New Testament gives us valuable insights into His purpose and character. Jesus’ assignment on earth was to bring God’s presence to man (John 14:9). The Son radiates God's own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command. Hebrews 1:3a .” — @sarahekoontz We do not have an impersonal God. We have a King who loves us so much He CHOSE to dwell with us and die FOR us. The ultimate Christmas gift. Merry Christmas, guys!
O come, all ye faithful, joyful, and triumphant; come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem; come and behold Him, born the King of angels. O come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord. But what does that look like? I think that it’s taking the time to worship joyfully, putting Jesus before all other things, no matter what the circumstances we’re facing at the time or what busyness we are facing. To truly take the time to think about who Jesus is, why He was born, why He died. Like has been preached at church the last few weeks, Christmas is not just about a cute baby being born. A King was born. His birth changed our lives. His death gave us life. His suffering eliminated ours. His love covered and saved us. His blood washed us clean. If we cannot take these few days, at least, to adore Him for who He is and what He has done…can we really say we adore Him? Do we, like the wise men, search until we find Him? Do we fall on our knees when He’s discovered? Do we celebrate His birth? Do we thank Him for His death? Do we put Him first? What ways do you adore Him this Christmas season and beyond?
Repost from 2016– I struggle with being repetitive with my prayers. It’s not that I don’t think that God can hear me…it’s that I’m impatient. I know that God will always answer my prayers. Yes. No. Not right now. It’s the “not right now” that kills me…because I don’t know what He’s thinking, ya know? It could be a yes…but it could be a no….when the answer is wait…it’s like I don’t know what to do. So I just ramble…over and over. And over and I bet sometimes God wishes He could make me be quiet like He did Zechariah…but He doesn’t. I know that no matter how much I ramble, He hears my prayers…and even though He knows what I’m going to say He listens anyways patiently, withholding eye rolls and sighs, He listens and loves. It’s so hard sometimes to wait…because sometimes you don’t even know you’re waiting. And more often times than not in life in general it feels like we’re always waiting. Waiting on the next best thing. Waiting until THIS so we can THAT. It can get disheartening. I’m sure Elizabeth and Zechariah had already lost hope….well, we know they did because Zechariah said himself, “How shall I know this?” I don’t blame him for saying that at all…I am sure that I say this daily in various ways…human doubt and discouragement is a thing that’s hard to shake. I loved the part of today’s devo when it said perhaps Zechariah, though faithful his whole life, still had one small piece of his heart closed off from God. I think we probably all do. But we don’t have to ever doubt that God can hear our prayers. He hears. He listens. He sent His Son to prove it. Sometimes His response isn’t what WE want to hear in return…and it might not be in the time frame we want either but we can have the greatest hope that we do not need to be afraid, because He hears our prayers. And while we wait for His response, and even when we get it, we can also be confident that He’s with us. I hope that this could be encouraging to you this holiday season. I think sometimes we forget that it isn’t “merry and bright” for everyone every year. I pray that if this is the case for you this year, you can be confident that God is listening to you and He loves you even when it’s hard.
This quote from A.W. Tozer is speaking on God’s wisdom. The rest of this quote says, “Hence, we shall not seek for proof that God is wise. The unbelieving mind would not be convinced by any proof, and the worshiping heart needs none.” . . Sometimes this is hard to do. Especially when things that are happening to us seem so wrong. It’s hard to not want proof of God’s wisdom when maybe the circumstances surrounding us don’t look like something a wise God would allow to happen. I know I have and do go through times when I question, doubt and want God to prove Himself to me. I want to understand…THEN I’ll believe. But that isn’t what faith is. Once we start believing the things God tells us as true and trust that He isn’t lying to us just to get us to fall in line, then it’s easier to understand that we can’t…well, understand. His wisdom is larger and more divine than anything we have ever experienced. And that is hard for us to accept because we ARE people of experience. I feel like he explains it well with this, “It is vitally important that we hold the truth of God’s infinite wisdom ad a tenet of our creed; but this is not enough. We must by the exercise of faith and by prayer bring it into the practical world of our day-by-day experience […] Our insistence upon seeing ahead is natural enough, but it is a real hinderance to our spiritual progress. God has charged Himself with full responsibility for our eternal happiness and stands ready to take over management of our lives the moment we turn in faith to HIm. […] With the goodness of God to desire our highest welfare, the wisdom of God to plan it, and the power of God to achieve it, what do we lack? Surely we are the most favored of all the creatures.” . . If we believe God loves us, why can’t we believe that in His wisdom He’s always doing what is the absolute best for us? Sometimes it might not feel that it’s the absolute best, but that’s where faith comes in. These things are always easier said than done. But I think it’s in those impossible situations, where faith looks and feels a little foolish, that it’s the most important.
I did this page in 2015 on the arm of my grandma’s couch. 2015 seems like SO long ago. So many things have changed since then. It doesn’t seem like much in life is constant. It’s a constant ride of highs and lows, you never know which part of the roller coaster you’re going to be on. But the one thing, seriously I think the only thing, we can depend on to be the same now and forever is Jesus. Seasons change. Circumstances will change. Other people will change. We will change. But He will not. He tells us exactly who He is and who He will be. I’m so glad that we can find comfort in that. Sometimes it’s the only comfort we have. We have a King who loves us and is always there for us. Who was born and died for us. Is there much better than that?
I’m shocked that it’s not even Christmas yet and I already know my word for 2020. Usually, I don’t know the word until after the new year, and even then, I’m still a little iffy about it…just choosing one to choose one. But this year, I was driving to get my son from school and I just barely prayed a prayer about how I’d like to know what word God would like me to have and I swear I didn’t even complete the thought when the word ‘focus’ popped in my head. I thought about it for about a week and decided that was it. If you read my post from yesterday, I think it explains why fairly well. I just need to focus more on God instead of any and every bad thing that could possibly happen. I am an enneagram 6, so to me, when I think about all the bad things that could happen I’m not worrying, I’m preparing. I know focusing on the things that might go wrong won’t keep them from going wrong, but at least sometimes it feels like maybe you can prepare your heart for the hurt that might come. But if the last 10 or so years have taught me anything it’s that you absolutely cannot be prepared for everything. And even when you think you are, even if it’s just mentally, you really aren’t. You can know something terrible is 100% coming and when it gets here, it still hurts. Knowing all that, I want to try harder to focus on God instead of the possible bad outcomes the future may (or may not) bring. Because focusing on those things absolutely cannot change anything…but focusing on God can change a lot. I have focused on the bad for pretty much my whole life, as long as I can remember, so it will be hard habit to break…but I at least want to try a little harder than I have been. I know it’s early, but have you guys chosen your word for the year yet? If you have, what did you choose? I am offering to letter your word and send you the file for you to do with what you’d like. You can find the link in my profile.