Sunday, December 11, 2011

When grace was born...

I've been reading the story of Jesus in the first part of Luke this past week and studying the greek side of it too. What has my mind stirring is not only the miraculous birth of Jesus but what Gabriel the angel said to Mary. He was sent by the Lord to tell Mary she would carry Jesus. In the very first greeting he called her "favored one" in Luke 1:28 & again in verse 30 He reassured her to not be afraid because she had found "favor" with God. The greek meaning of favor in each verse above is rooted out of the word charis. Charis means grace. You may not feel me yet but let me go further so you can grasp my excitement! The angel Gabriel was assuring Mary that yes she would carry Jesus & grace too. God himself would give His grace to Mary & Joseph because there wouldn't be a day forward that it wasn't necessary. Any woman who has ever been pregnant can understand how hard it is & definitely empathize with Mary through the difficulty of it all. What I want you to grasp is the magnitude of God's grace by way of Jesus. God knew Mary & Joseph couldn't do it alone so He gave them grace to sustain them. He spoke to Joseph numerous times, had Joseph not listened grace would have died. You see Jesus is, was, and always be the substance of God's grace. You & I need God's grace (Jesus)! Without grace where would we be?
Are you with me yet?! Do you see that it wasn't easy for Mary to always be on the look out but God by grace always made a way…she rode for miles on the back of a camel, 9 months pregnant! What this story means for me is this. Grace doesn't make things easy or perfect but it makes them bearable & possible! Grace means that I can have satisfaction despite how difficult my season is at the moment. God isn't going to leave us or forsake us EVER. If we will listen He will keep us, guide us & lead us into safety EVERY time. No evil can hurt us or take us down. There is not season in life so hard that we His grace can't sustain us. I'm talking about the power that began to inhabit the earth embodied in the baby, Jesus. He was grace with hands & feet. Mary marveled I'm sure of it & worshipped Him that cold desert night. Not because she had given birth to her baby boy but because she held redemption in her hands. She kissed the face of grace & would watch through the years Jesus live up to everything God had sent Him for. His purpose in living was to die. To provide a way through grace to gain access to God. The Christmas story bears new meaning for me in my adult years. The gifts not important at all but ultimately I can't help but be overwhelmed by grace the unmerited favor of God being birthed in a manger with one purpose already established in Heaven to be the Savior of the world.

Much love this Christmas season


Saturday, December 3, 2011

He longs for you...

Revelation 19:9 "Then the angel said to me, "Write: "Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!" And he added, "These are the true words of God."

God never intended for us to live a self-centered life without Him. He desires closeness & relationship. He delights loving us & loves even more when we love Him too. He enjoys communion & conversation. It's with lovingkindness that He ultimately desires us to be prepared as the bride (His children) to be joined with the bridegroom(Him) for an eternity in Heaven. Imagine the excitement of a bridegroom for his bride…that's the analogy the Bible gives of God's heart towards His people.
Imagine with me for moment a bridegroom who is perfectly ok with his bride being with another in relationship or devoted to something else more than he. Do you think you would be ok if your spouse committed adultery? Would you just sit back or would you be deeply saddened & be jealous for your spouses commitment to you? Our relationship with God is the same way. We have all been guilty of devoting our time & minds to other things or relationships above our relationship with God at some point in our lives. He created us for Himself, to be in constant communion with Him. Our earthly time I believe is preparation for eternity & the enemy's end and top goal is to distract the church with anything but Jesus & Him crucified.
I find it interesting that the world isn't really worried about religion, with it's rules & regulations for appropriate religious behaviors. That describes the majority of religion going on in todays world. What I have noticed with great concern over the years is the complete subtraction of the name Jesus & Him crucified. It's in Jesus coming & dying that He provided a way for the bride to attend the wedding supper. It's with great love that God desires relationship now while on earth. It's through the revelation of who God is that we are able to live it out on earth. He desires you completely & totally…

Jesus is returning for a bride whose body is in equal proportion to her head.~Bill Johnson