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Advent 2019 December 18

Who is like the Lord our God, who dwells on high, who humbles himself to behold the things that are in the heavens and in the earth?
(Psalm 113:5-6 NKJV)

In today’s devotional from “Consider Jesus,” Nancy Wolgemuth shares the story touching of Father Damien.  Perhaps you have heard of this Belgian priest who lived in the 1800s.  He was a missionary who accepted an assignment in the leper village of Molokai, Hawaii.  Father Damien lived in this village working and loving these outcasts for sixteen years.  He learned there language, helped in their community, ate with them, embraced them, and  interacted with them.  The people began to thrive and feel the joy of living.

On a Sabbath day, about a decade into this ministry, as Father Damien was addressing his congregation, he made the statement, “we lepers.”  After living in such close contact with them, he too, had become a leper.

Christ, came to this filthy, sinful earth to minister to, serve, and save wretched, offensive, unclean sinners like us.  Here is Nancy’s thoughts:

God has come into our pitiful, putrid village. He has become one of us. This One who must humble Himself to even “behold the things that are in the heavens”—imagine that!—has stooped immeasurably further. If even the glories of heaven are a step down from what He had been experiencing at each divine moment of His eternal existence, picture Him choosing to come and live here among our dust and grime and smells and pollution . . . with us lepers.

Can you imagine how David must have felt when he was ruminating on this thought from Psalm 8:3-4

 When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that you care for him?

We can only look up.  Jesus not only looked down, but He came down.  He became like us and lived among us, loved us, served us, ministered to us.  He came to know us and care for us.  Consider Jesus and celebrate Him during this season.

This is today’s part of the Advent Freebie.  I hope you enjoy.

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Advent 2019 December 17

At the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
(Luke 2:21)

We read only few scenes from the childhood of Jesus.  One account was when Jesus was only eight days old.  Circumcision was a command God had given to Abraham in Genesis 17, for the Jewish people.  All Jewish males were required to be circumcised at 8 days of age.

In modern days, much has been said about circumcision being non-elective surgery.  However, it was so much more.  During the days of Moses, it was understood that the circumcison represented a circumcision of the heart, where fallen people are reminded by this physical sign, to “cut” themselves away from their sin.  Jesus, had no sin, so why would he need this reminder?  He went through this fairly serious cut, which was not necessary for Him for two reasons.  One, his parents were making sure their first born son was meeting the requirements of the law.  He was obeying the command for Jewish newborns.  He could not have been recognized as the “Son of David” or the “Seed of Abraham” without this.   Next, the circumcision fortells of His crucifixion. This is how Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth so eloquently puts it:

“But then beautifully, redemptively, Jesus’ circumcision also foretells His suffering, His willingness to shed His own innocent blood. It was only a few drops at this point, but this procedure was already a picture of the blood that would one day flow down His body as He paid the staggering price for your sins and mine.

And so against whatever cloth or wrapping Jesus lay upon when His skin felt its first incision, we see a faint shadow of the cross. We see Him as a baby, barely a week old, submitting Himself to an ordinance needed not for Himself, but for others. For us. This child who had no sins to be cut away was already suffering sin’s consequences.

It’s one of the reasons why He needed to be made in human likeness. It’s why His humanity matters as much as His divinity. It is why He came. And it is once again why we worship Him as we consider Jesus this Christmas.”

This is today’s part of the Advent freebie:

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Have a super, blessed day!

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Advent 2019 December 16

 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
(1 Peter 5:6-7)

I will just admit it, I am emotional.  We all have emotions.  Often , the days before Christmas can be some of the most emotional: panic, pressure, overwhelmed by the to do lists.  Possibly, you could face sadness and depression during the holidays, due to loss or changes.  You could be on a feeling of high anticipation or it could be dread.  Whatever your emotions may be during this season, remember that Jesus fully relates and understands.

As we saw from the list of Scripture yesterday, that pointed out his humanity, Jesus was emotional.  Look at this quote from Wolgemuth in today’s devotion:

“He cared for outcast lepers and for needy multitudes, for a widow who’d just lost her son.
He marveled at things like the unblinking faith placed in Him by a tough Roman centurion.
He rejoiced at the opportunity to bring hope and healing to hurting people.
He grieved at the tomb of His friend Lazarus, at the thought of Jerusalem rejecting her Messiah, and at the Last Supper with His closest circle of friends, where He was “troubled in his spirit” (John 13:21).
He even grew angry at the hypocritical religious leaders and the opportunistic merchants defiling the temple.

The only difference between Jesus’ emotions and ours, in fact, was in how He handled them. We’re prone to squander our emotions on the wrong things, to let them spill out uncontrollably, to let them take the lead in our responses and decision making rather than supporting our true convictions.

Jesus, however—though acquainted with all the ways we’re tempted to overreact—always expressed His emotions in a wholesome, balanced, godly way. And because of the righteous alignment of His heart, He was moved to emotion most by those things that moved the heart of God.”

As Christians, we want to conform to the likeness of Christ.  We do not have to hide our emotions, in this conformity.  Being emotional, if handled in love and godliness, is not wrong.  If emotions were wrong, Jesus would not experienced them.  He knows pain, joy, want, and agony.  Most of all, He is comfort and compassion when you are experiencing these same emotions.

I pray we can feel His comfort, calm, and compassion during this busy season.

 

Here is today’s part of the Advent Freebie:

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If you have been following along and downloading each day, this is what your kit will include.  If you have missed any, feel free to go back and download each day’s part.  The download links will be available for the month of December.

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I pray you are seeing blessings each day of Advent.

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My Memories December Blog Train

In case you are new around here, I will share something about me, I LOVE CAMPING!  My husband and I have considered full-time RVing, and follow many bloggers and youtubers who live in their RV.

This kit was inspired by those of you who live and love the camping life.  This month’s color palette was perfect for the theme.  You can get the new kit for only $2.49 in my store at My Memories.  Just click on the preview and go to my store.

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This is my part of the blog train. I hope you enjoy!

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Please be sure and visit the other designers in this train:

Digi Deborah Designs

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Advent 2019 December 15

Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood,
he himself likewise partook of the same things.
(Hebrews 2:14)

Jesus was human.  Let’s look at evidence from the New Testament, showing His humanity.  This is quite a list of His human condition.  This list was compiled from an article at Desiring God, written by David Mathis.

He became flesh:
*John 1:14  And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
*1 John 4:2  By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God.
*2 John 7  For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist.

He was born:
*Luke 2:7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

He grew:
*Luke 2:40 And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him.
*Luke 2:52  And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.

He became tired:
*John 4:6  Jacob’s well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour.

Jesus got thirsty and hungry:
*John 19:28  After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), I thirst.”
*Matthew 4:2  And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.

He became weak, physically:
*Matthew 4:11  Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.
*Luke 23:26  And as they led him away, they seized one Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus.

He died:
*Luke 23:46 Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, Fatherinto your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last.

Not only was Jesus human and flesh before His death, we see evidence that after His resurrection, He had a real human body:
*Luke 24:3 See my hands and my feetthat it is I myselfTouch meand see.   For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.”
*John 20:20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.
*John 20:27
Then he said to Thomas, Put your finger hereand see my handsand put out your handand place it in my side. Do not disbelievebut believe.”

Jesus had a human mind and emotions:
He marveled:
*Matthew 8:10:  When Jesus heard this, he marveled and said to those who followed him, TrulyI tell youwith no one in Israel have I found such faith.

He was sorrowful and troubled:
*Matthew 26:38: The he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.”
*John 11:33-35:  When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. And he said, Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus wept.
*John 12:27:Now is my soul troubledAnd what shall I say? ‘Fathersave me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour.”
*John 13:21:21 After saying these things, Jesus was troubled in his spirit, and testified, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.”
*Hebrews 5:7:7 In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.

Back to “Consider Jesus,” the Advent Devotional by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, as she sums up Jesus’ humanity:

“Bottom line: Jesus came to earth to be like us. Not only was He physically human, but He also had a human makeup and soul. He possessed all the elements we understand and experience as being parts of our human nature. Whatever it means to be a human being, apart from sin, Jesus had it. Jesus lived it.”

Without Jesus we are sinners with no hope.  Because Jesus came to earth, fully man, and lived a sinless life; a life we could never live.  Now, we can say:

“It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Gal. 2:20)

Here is today’s portion of the Advent Kit:

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We Believe Blog Train

This month’s theme is “Wrapped.”  Our focus Scripture is Luke 2:11-12

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 1 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”

Here is my part of this month’s train
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Please be sure and visit the other designers in this train:

A-M Designs
Rush Ranch
Nellie Bell
Dreamn4ever Designs
Moore Blessings Digital Designs
We Believe Blog Page

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Advent 2019 December 14

Take care, and keep your soul diligently,
lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen.
(Deuteronomy 4:9)

With the Christmas season comes many myths and falsehoods.  There are even beloved Christmas carols that have un-Biblical doctrine, and yet we sing them.  I am not saying we shouldn’t sing these precious songs, but we must notice and teach the young (and some adults) around us that it isn’t backed by Biblical teaching.  We must keep our eyes and our souls diligent during this busy time.

One such carol is the one I am using as the Advent Freebie Kit title, “Away In A Manger.”  One line says:

“The cattle are lowing the baby awakes,
but little Lord Jesus no crying He makes.”

Jesus was created in the real womb of a real woman and He was born as a real child. As a real child, why would we not think He would really cry?  Here is an excerpt of Nancy Wolgemuth’s thoughts on the matter, in today’s devotional of “Consider Jesus”:

“Jesus was conceived in the physical womb of a physical young woman. He was born on earth as a baby at an actual historical time in an actual geographical place—“born in the likeness of men,” as the Bible puts it (Phil. 2:7). Five times in the second chapter of Luke alone, the Gospel writer refers to Him as a “child.” A child who grew and matured as children do, who “increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and men” (Luke 2:52). And a child who surely made more than a peep in His infant crib.”

While we can sing and worship with this beloved carol, it is an example of how easy we can begin to believe ideas about Jesus that are not verified by Scripture. Christmas is a busy season and is full of cultural and secular mythologies that are easily picked up and often become absorbed into our belief system.

Jesus came, as a human, for our salvation.

” It was the visible emergence of God’s eternal plan to rescue His people from their sins—a plan that required the Son to take on a physical body and live an earthly life. In order for Him to make full atonement for our sins by His own blood, He had to first become flesh and blood. The Lamb that was slain needed first to be a little baby, one who could shed real tears, make real cries. We know that “in the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears” to His Father in heaven (Heb. 5:7)—the way we do, the way we should do. Why would it not stand to reason that He could burst forth with “loud cries and tears” as a baby, just as we did?”

We must keep watch and stay alert during this season.

This is today’s portion of “Away In A Manger.”

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Advent 2019 December 13

When the fullness of time had come,
God sent forth his Son, born of woman,
born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law.
(Galatians 4:4-5)

Continuing with the mystery of Jesus’ nature, today we look at Him being fully God and fully human.  Even today, there are controversies and heresies related to His nature and who He is.  Some say He was only God and not human. Some say He was only man and not God.  Some proclaim He was half God and half man. It was, and still can be, confusing,  however; as Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth worded it:

It was troubling. Confusing. And crucial—because if Jesus is not God, He has no power and authority to save us, and if Jesus is not human, the sacrifice of His death and triumph of His resurrection lose their meaning. All our hopes for eternity need Him to be both. He must be both, or else we are not saved.

We have to know His word enough to recognize unsound doctrine or heretical teaching, and continue to return to His Word, over and over, and affirming, in our minds, the Truth of His full divinity and His full humanity.

Here is today’s part of the Advent Freebie!

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Advent 2019 December 12

Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness:

He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit,
seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations,
believed on in the world,taken up in glory.
1 Timothy 3:15-16

Have you delighted in watching a child open presents during the Christmas season with the squealing and joy they experience as they reveal their treasures hidden in the packages? Or perhaps you remember your own childhood, trying to figure out what could possibly be in this pretty box that wouldn’t rattle as you shook it trying to figure out the mystery?  Some of those packages wouldn’t go under the tree until only a few days before Christmas, but it seemed like an eternity as each minute slowly crept along at a snail’s pace until that moment you could rip that paper off to have the mystery solved.

Now, let’s consider Jesus and the mystery of His nature.  He is fully God and fully human.  This is a concept that is hard to completely understand.  It leaves many unanswered questions, a mystery.

We are given much insight and information about who He is, in the Bible.  With the help of the Holy Spirit we can actually have understanding of His Living Word, revealed to us. Yet, there are still many times, as we are studying the Scriptures, we have to walk away accepting the mystery as part of God’s plan. Even in our desire to gain all knowledge, we have to be content with not yet knowing.

Those of the world, have a hard time with the mystery or understanding why we are accepting of it. In today’s devotional, Nancy explains:

The secular world sees this admission on our part as a cop-out. They say that if we can’t entirely explain Jesus—if not even His own followers can give acceptable answers to every question— how can what we claim really be true? But if we could somehow encapsulate the awe and wonder of Jesus into a little box to be perfectly measured and processed and stamped with our human seal of approval, then He wouldn’t be so amazing anymore. He wouldn’t be God enough to do what His Word says He has done and is continuing to do.

While we may not fully grasp the  mystery, we know and have faith in the “rest of the story.”   An endless day is coming, when we will see the glorious reality that will erase from our mind’s eye, any question or mystery of the complete nature of who Jesus is.

We’ll see and know. We’ll hold Him and worship Him. We’ll stand in His presence among our blood-washed family of the redeemed, and we’ll know beyond knowing that this gift—this unspeakable gift—was worth every hour of waiting. Must we live with mystery now? Oh, yes. But if the mystery is this “great,” as Scripture says, just imagine the greatness of His total revealing.

May the mystery of Jesus be comforting to you, in knowing we have the great revealing coming.

This is today’s part of the Advent freebie:

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Advent 2019 December 11

No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side,
he has made him known. (John 1:18)

Are you considered intolerant by today’s standards? Intolerance has become a word that is negative. When it comes to God’s Word, the fact that Jesus is God, and Jesus being THE Way, THE Truth, and THE Life, I am intolerant.  If defending, protecting and honoring this Truth is intolerant, then I am intolerant.  One of the truths I am intolerant of is the Deity of Jesus.

Jesus’ deity makes it possible for us to know God.

When we look at Jesus, we see more than just a resemblance to His Father.  Jesus is God. Hebrews 1:3 tells:

He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.

John 14:9b, He tells Philip:

 Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?

 Jesus reveals God to us so we will know Him.

Next, because of His deity, even though He humbled Himself to humanity, He is exalted above all others.

 This is a quote from Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth in “Consider Jesus” Advent devotional for today.

We’ve done a lot in our generation to emphasize the humanity of Jesus, to make Him feel more accessible and “down to earth.” And truly He is our friend, our brother, One who can intimately understand and relate to us. But even in drawing as near to Him as He invites us to do, we must remember that His full understanding of our humanity comes from His deity. More than being merely human, He is transcendent. He is greater than any human who’s ever lived because He is unique among all who’ve ever lived.

The most important aspect of Jesus’ deity is the affirmation that He is the ONLY way to God.  If He was only man, it would make us idolaters to worship Him.  In John 14:6, He tells us He IS the ONLY Way to the Father. 

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

The closing quote by Wolgemuth solidly hits this point.

He could not be our sole reliable path to God because there would be no path to God. Is it intolerant to believe Jesus is God? To live by this belief and put our hope in it? If it is . . . so be it. We don’t come to this belief because we choose it, but because it is true. And because it is true, here we take our stand and herein is our only hope in this life and the next.

How does the truth of Jesus’ deity touch you daily on a personal level?

For today’s Advent freebie, I have added a shepherd to the nativity.

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