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Christmas Day!

Thank you all for taking this Advent journey with me.  I have been blessed through the reading of this devotion, by creating for you, my followers and fellow scrapbookers, and by your great encouragement.  I have one more for you today, although small, I hope you enjoy it and can use it.

Though he was in the form of God, [Jesus] did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:6–8)

Christ humbled Himself, taking on the form of a servant, being obedient to God, even to the point of a horrible death on a cross, for our sake.  Take the time today to talk about how Christ has changed you by calling you to a life of obedience to him, a life of righteousness, humility, and love.

I pray you have a Merry Christmas day full of blessings!

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Advent Day 22

I have loved this devotional.  Unlike most, Piper has actually put into words WHY Christ came.  Today, I am sharing his devotional here.  You can read the entire devotional at Desiring God.

Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. —1 John 3:7–8
When verse 8 says, “The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil,” what are the “works of the devil” that he has in mind? The answer is clear from the context. First, verse 5 is a clear parallel: “You know that He appeared in order to take away sins.” The phrase “he appeared to…” occurs in verse 5 and verse 8. So probably the “works of the devil” that Jesus came to destroy are sins. The first part of verse 8 makes this virtually certain:
“The one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning.” The issue in this context is sinning, not sickness or broken cars or messed up schedules. Jesus came into the world to help us stop sinning. Let me put it alongside the truth of 1 John 2:1: “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin.” In other words, I am promoting the purpose of Christmas (3:8), the purpose of the incarnation. Then he adds (2:2), “And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.” But now look what this means: It means that Jesus appeared in the world for two reasons. He came that we might not go on sinning; and he came to die so that there would be a propitiation—a substitutionary sacrifice that takes away the wrath of God—for our sins, if we do sin.

Here is your Advent Gift for today:

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Advent Day 21

If while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. —Romans 5:10–11

It is only through Jesus Christ that we can receive reconciliation  with God.  This is the reason we celebrate His coming to earth, the reason we rejoice.  Without the earthly life of Jesus, we could not find that reconciliation.

In today’s devotional, Piper shares the “Indescribable gift” given to us:
Here’s the Christmas point. Not only did God purchase our reconciliation through the death of the Lord Jesus Christ (verse 10), and not only did God enable us to receive that reconciliation through the Lord Jesus Christ (verse 11), but even now, verse 11 says, we exult in God himself through our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus purchased our reconciliation. Jesus enabled us to receive the reconciliation and open the gift. And Jesus himself shines forth from the wrapping—the indescribable gift—as God in the flesh, and stirs up all our exultation in God. Look to Jesus this Christmas. Receive the reconciliation that he bought. Don’t put it on the shelf unopened. And don’t open it and then make it a means to all your other pleasures. Open it and enjoy the gift. Exult in him. Make him your pleasure. Make him your treasure.

This is the last download of the Sparkling Snowflakes & Perky Penguins kit.  Tomorrow, I will share the devotional and I have a glitter wordart collection for you that will complement this kit.

For today’s download, just click on the preview.

Have a blessed day!

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Advent Day 20

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. —John 20:30–31

Did you grow up in the church?  Can you recite the doctrines of faith without thinking?  Sing great hymns on autopilot without really thinking about the theology behind what you are singing?  Yawn through creeds and responsive readings?  Are we asleep because it is all so familiar?  As Piper says in today’s Advent Devotional:

“…Among us something must be done to help us once more feel the awe, the fear, the astonishment, the wonder of the Son of God, begotten by the Father from all eternity, reflecting all the glory of God, being the very image of his person, through whom all things were created, upholding the universe by the word of his power. You can read every fairy tale that was ever written, every mystery thriller, every ghost story, and you will never find anything so shocking, so strange, so weird and so spellbinding as the story of the incarnation of the Son of God. How dead we are! How callous and unfeeling to his glory and his story!  How often have I had to repent and say, ‘God, I am sorry that the stories men have made up stir my emotions, my awe and wonder and admiration and joy, more than your own true story.'”

It is time to contemplate our Eternal, Creator God and our Saving Christ.  It is time to have a real relationship between them (Him) and ourselves. We have this Jesus, who performed great miracles and transformed great sinners, and He is still doing this today.  It should be enough to get us excited, entice us to want to know more, encourage us to grow that relationship with Him.  Maybe, just maybe, we don’t see the miracles today or get excited while we worship, because we have become complacent in our Faith.  Our God, our Christ, His Word, has not changed.  It should  humble us to a place of awe, it should frighten us to obedience, we should be filled with wonder at His great works.

Let’s pray, during this season, and every season that the Holy Spirit moves in our lives, in a way that awakens us and shakes us up.

God has used this devotional as a convicting message to me.  Piper ends with this prayer.  It is my prayer today:

O, how I pray for a breaking forth of the Spirit of God upon me and upon you. I pray for the Holy Spirit to break into my experience in a frightening way, to wake me up to the unimaginable reality of God. One of these days lightning is going to fill the sky from the rising of the sun to its setting, and there is going to appear in the clouds one like a son of man with his mighty angels in flaming fire. And we will see him clearly. And whether from terror or sheer excitement, we will tremble and we will wonder how, how we ever lived so long with such a domesticated, harmless Christ. These things are written that you might believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who came into the world. Really believe.

This is today’s Advent gift.  Just click on the preview to go directly to the download:

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Advent Days 18-19

Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” —John 18:37

Have you ever recognized John 18 as a text for Christmas?  Even though this text comes at the end of Jesus’s life, it tells us why He came to earth.  The purpose of Christ coming was to establish His kingdom, not a kingdom of this world (John 18:36) but, as believers, we know it was for the eternal kingdom.  Christ existed in the eternal kingdom before coming to earth.  His incarnation was not of a new life, but of a life that was before creation.

About 700 years before the earthly birth of Jesus, Micah, the prophet, tells us:

But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.

This child who came to earth is the One who has existed from before time began.  He is the Ancient of Days, and humbled Himself by coming to earth as a baby, born of a virgin, to live a human life and take on our sin, so that we could live a life, with Him, in His eternal kingdom.  Now that, my friends, is the REAL Christmas story!

Because of the past couple of days being so busy, I am including both days in today’s post.  I hope you enjoy.

You can get these by clicking on the top preview (Day 18).  Both kits are in one download.

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Have a blessed Day!

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DECEMBER 20 BLOG TRAINS

O’SCRAP BLOG TRAIN

I am very sorry for the incorrect link.  This link has been corrected!

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Please visit the other designers in this train:

 

Check out our blogand if youd like to join in and design

with us come and join our FB Page (designers only please)

SCRAP YOUR HEART OUT BLOG TRAIN

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The other designers in this train are:

 

AnnieCDigitals

Check out our Blog
 and if you would like to join in and contribute to the train FB Page (designers Only Please)
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Advent Day 17

Sorry for the late hour.  Today and tomorrow are two days that are very special to me, as I volunteer in a ministry each Christmas that helps so many families.  My blog trains are already set to go live at midnight, but tomorrow’s Advent gift will be a bit later.  Thursday I should be back on track to finish out the week earlier in the day.  Thank you for your patience.

Now for today’s devotional:

“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah…” —Jeremiah 31:31

We have a great holy God, who is just.  We, as sinners, are separated from Him.  This is our main problem, however, God is also merciful and made this Promise five hundred years before Christ came.  This promise that he would make a new covenant with His people.  This covenant would be the main reason we celebrate Christmas. This Covenant was the Messiah.  This Messiah that would “move into our lives and write His will on our hearts” so that we can love, trust, and follow Him.

What an awesome Gift, and the Reason we celebrate.  Our sin and unrighteousness, which separates us from God, has been paid with the greatest sacrifice of all.  Can you even fathom how great it is that the holy and just God, who created the universe, has shown such kindness and mercy by putting our sin on His Son?

” Hebrews 9:28 says, “Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many.” Christ bore our sins in his own body when he died. He took our judgment. He canceled our guilt. And that means the sins are gone. They do not remain in God’s mind as a basis for condemnation. In that sense, he “forgets” them. They are consumed in the death of Christ. Which means that God is now free, in his justice, to lavish us with the new covenant. He gives us Christ, the greatest Reality in the universe, for our enjoyment. And he writes his own will—his own heart—on our hearts so that we can love Christ and trust Christ and follow Christ from the inside out, with freedom and joy.”   -Piper

Take the time to share the greatest gift imaginable with someone else.

Now for today’s Advent Gift:

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Advent Day 16

“Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” —Philippians 2:9–11

In Genesis 37, Joseph has a dream and is promised glory and power.  Before that could be achieved, Joseph became a slave and even a prisoner, in Egypt.  In prison, God placed Pharaoh’s cupbearer in Joseph’s life and was eventually, through a series of events, brought to Pharaoh and was put in authority over Egypt.  Wow, what a long route to achieve the promise.  The same was true, even for God’s own son.  Jesus emptied himself and took the form of a servant.  He became a prisoner, and was executed.  God “highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow.”

God’s people can expect similar circumstances.  God never promised we would see the blessings without the trials.  The trials and rough times may feel like failure.  But if we take time to look through God’s Word, we see that the people He uses, suffer before it gets better.  Why do we expect not to?  If we can learn anything from these examples, it is this: “God meant it for good!” (Genesis 50:20).

I have just found this song by Indelible Grace that fits right in with this:

GOD MOVES IN A MYSTERIOUS WAY

Text:William CowperMusic:Jeremy Casella

1. God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform.
He plants his footsteps on the sea, And rides upon the storm.

2. Ye fearful saints fresh courage take, The clouds you so much dread,
Are big with mercy, and shall break, With blessings on your head.

3. Judge not the Lord by feeble sense, But trust him for his grace.
Behind a frowning providence, He hides a smiling face.

4. His purposes will ripen fast, Unfolding every hour.
The bud may have a bitter taste, But sweet will be the flower.

5. Blind unbelief is sure to err, And scan His work in vain.
God is His own interpreter, And He will make it plain.

 

© 2009 Saint & Pilgrim Songs (ASCAP), admin by The Loving Company

If you would like to hear the song you can find it on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VtnapVDuPfg

Here is your gift for today:

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Have a great day!

 

 

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Advent Day 15

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” —John 10:10

 

Some people feel loss and sadness at Christmas more than other times.

“Don’t block it out. Let it come. Feel it. What is love for, if not to intensify our affections— both in life and death? But, O, do not be bitter. It is tragically self-destructive to be bitter.”                                                                                                      -John Piper

Jesus came to earth to bring eternal life to us.  Families come together during the holiday season.  The homecomings and reunions are such sweet times.  As precious and exciting as these times are, they are just a foretaste for our final home going.

What is the true celebration of Christmas?  “I came that they might have life.”

Make your Christmas celebration, this year, even richer and more precious by sharing the news of the greatest gift, the Gospel, with others.

Today begins the third week of Advent and my third kit for you.  This is a smaller kit, but I hope you enjoy it just as much.  It is titled, “Sparkly Snowflakes and Perky Penguins.”

Just click on the preview to get today’s download.

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Have a great evening!

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Advent Day 14

Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises. —Hebrews 8:6

What does it mean that Christ mediates a new covenant?  It means that His blood fulfilled God’s promises for us.

The best place to see Christ working as the Mediator of the new covenant is In Hebrews 13:20–21, we see Christ working as the Mediator of the new covenant :

Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant [this is the purchase of the new covenant], even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Piper writes:

The words “working in us that which is pleasing in his sight” describe what happens when God writes the law on our hearts in the new covenant. And the words “through Jesus Christ” describe Jesus as the Mediator of this glorious work of sovereign grace.

So the meaning of Christmas is not only that God replaces shadows with Reality, but also that he takes the reality and makes it real to his people. He writes it on our hearts. He does not lay his Christmas gift of salvation and transformation down for you to pick up in your own strength. He picks it up and puts in your heart and in your mind, and seals to you that you are a child of God.

Here is my Advent Gift for day 14 and the last in this kit.  Day 3 will begin tomorrow, Sunday, Dec. 17.

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