Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Daniel 3:16-18

6 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. 18 But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.”

I hope that when the time comes to defend my faith, whether to kings or strangers that I meet, that I have the bravery to stand firm in serving the God I love. May the faith that I have be used by God to inspire others to accept the free gift of His love and lifting their cross to follow my lead as I go on towards our heavenly home. (Philippians 4:9)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Luke 2:4-7

4 And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. 5 He took with him Mary, his fiancĂ©e, who was now obviously pregnant.

6 And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. 7 She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.

God's promise to Israel came true here, that He is establishing David's throne forever by the birth of His Son. (2 Samuel 7:13) Here again I see that God's ways are not my ways with the birth of His son being in the midst of rejection and squalor. "God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important." (1 Corinthians 1:28

Monday, December 15, 2014

Luke 1:46-55

46 Mary responded,

  “Oh, how my soul praises the Lord.
47     How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!
48 For he took notice of his lowly servant girl,
    and from now on all generations will call me blessed.
49 For the Mighty One is holy,
    and he has done great things for me.
50 He shows mercy from generation to generation
    to all who fear him.
51 His mighty arm has done tremendous things!
    He has scattered the proud and haughty ones.
52 He has brought down princes from their thrones
    and exalted the humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
    and sent the rich away with empty hands.
54 He has helped his servant Israel
    and remembered to be merciful.
55 For he made this promise to our ancestors,
    to Abraham and his children forever.”

What a great honor to be the mother of God's Son here on earth. I am given a great honor as well, being invited by the King of heaven to be part of His family, a brother to Christ and co-heir to the kingdom that is being prepared for us. (Romans 8:17) It is also my pleasure to extend this offer to as many as would take up the cross with Jesus to follow the path to our heavenly home.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Philippians 4:8-9

8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.

Paul wrote something similar to the church in Galatia, "For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life." (Galatians 6:8) As I go through my day, it takes effort to choose the righteous things to fill my life with. The more I surround myself with virtuous people and honorable things, the more pure my life can become.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Philippians 4:2-3

2 Now I appeal to Euodia and Syntyche. Please, because you belong to the Lord, settle your disagreement. 3 And I ask you, my true partner, to help these two women, for they worked hard with me in telling others the Good News. They worked along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are written in the Book of Life.

What is it that could cause two people who have faith in God to quarrel? Does that even matter or is it more that these two should be putting aside the things of this world so that they can better serve the work of the gospel. May I love my neighbor as myself (Mark 12:31) and give myself completely to God (Romans 6:13) as I go about the work of inviting others to come with me on my journey to heaven.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Philippians 3:7-14

7 I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. 8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ 9 and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. 10 I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, 11 so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!

12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.

Where do I place my trust? What are the things that I treasure most? Could I give up everything that I hold dear for the chance to know a loving Father in heaven who is making a better place for me? Would I be willing to suffer daily to follow in the footsteps of the One sent before me to reach my new home?

Monday, December 8, 2014

Phillipians 2:5-11

5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.

6 Though he was God,
    he did not think of equality with God
    as something to cling to.
7 Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
    he took the humble position of a slave
    and was born as a human being.
 When he appeared in human form,
8     he humbled himself in obedience to God
    and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

9 Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor
    and gave him the name above all other names,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

This verse reminds me of another, "43But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant,    44and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all." (Mark 10:43-44) Jesus was the greatest in heaven, yet he became a servant to humanity by sacrificing Himself for us. In doing this He set the example that I am to follow.