Monday, December 26, 2022

Last 2022 Facebook Post

 “Unto us a child is born” is often the beginning of the birth of Jesus most are familiar with, but as much as I love the story and that “Jesus is the Reason for the Season” I ran across this one scripture that caught my attention so I thought I would share. (On a side note, if you do read then look at Matthew from the perspective of Joseph and Luke focuses on the experiences of Mary. Interesting to read through different vantage points)

I digress, the scripture is found in the Old Testament in the Book of Isaiah. He was one of the greatest prophets who can be found historically at the collapse of the Northern Kingdom around 721/722 B.C. King of Judah, Uzziah had just died in 742 B.C. It is here that Isaiah is called into prophetic service in the Temple of Jerusalem. Isaiah’s vision of God’s majesty was so overwhelming that military and political power faded into insignificance. He constantly called his people back to reliance on God’s promises and away from vain attempts to find security in human control. In two short verses, Isaiah prophesizes not only Jesus’ birth, but the purpose of his ministry, fulfillment of death to His miraculous resurrection, and the rise of his eternal kingdom where He will reign forever. We are all invited:

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this” (Isaiah 9: 6-7).

In the New Testament, Jesus reads the same verses from Isaiah. Proclaiming the Messianic prophecy has been fulfilled. After His birth story, Jesus’ life reflects his proclamation that through him all can be saved-He never forced or demanded or threatened but gave the choice to believe. He withstood in masses that rejected Him. The story of Jesus’ birth is the beginning of His way to the cross.

--Do you see the distorted ripples of control today?

--You will surrender your life to something. God’s word enables us to relinquish our tendency to pattern worldly behaviors.

--Just because it is legal, or a bill has been passed doesn’t make it moral.

Cultural norms are difficult to bypass. These norms influence our desires and shape our decisions. They function like peer pressure-feeling obligated to try one thing or another. God’s word is a guidepost should recognize it as the standard for living. It shapes our way of thinking, which eventually plays out in what we do.

“A person may think their own ways are right, but the LORD weighs the heart. To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice” (Proverbs 21: 2-3).

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing, and perfect will” (Romans 12:2)

Prayers: God, thank your for nudging me gently to find answers in your word. Help me to act on it and not make excuses to look elsewhere. Lord God, too often I allow myself to think in ways that lead me to act contrary to your Word. Help me guard my thoughts so my ways will please you. (new writing recently posted)

Powerful lyrics: put your armor on and hear the “Cries of the Crusaders” by Struggle Jennings & Caitlyn Curtis (I love music so when I discover voices like these two with such a critical message I have to share-the rawness between the rap and melody)

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