Archive for the ‘Christmas Celebration – It is to die for…’ Category

Friday: “Christmas Celebration! It is to die for…”

Friday, December 26th, 2014

Isaiah 62:1-5, 11-12 (NIV)

For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent,
for Jerusalem’s sake I will not remain quiet,
till her vindication shines out like the dawn,
her salvation like a blazing torch.
2 The nations will see your vindication,
and all kings your glory;
you will be called by a new name
that the mouth of the Lord will bestow.
3 You will be a crown of splendor in the Lord’s hand,
a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
4 No longer will they call you Deserted,
or name your land Desolate.
But you will be called Hephzibah,
and your land Beulah;
for the Lord will take delight in you,
and your land will be married.
5 As a young man marries a young woman,
so will your Builder marry you;
as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride,
so will your God rejoice over you.

11 The Lord has made proclamation
to the ends of the earth:
“Say to Daughter Zion,
‘See, your Savior comes!
See, his reward is with him,
and his recompense accompanies him.’”
12 They will be called the Holy People,
the Redeemed of the Lord;
and you will be called Sought After,
the City No Longer Deserted.

Luke 2:21-40 (NIV)

On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.

22 When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”), 24 and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”

25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:

29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
30 For my eyes have seen your salvation,
31 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel.”

33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: ”This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

36 There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38 Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.

39 When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. 40 And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.

In Isaiah 62, we are drawn into the hope and passion for God’s salvation to come. Isaiah echoes the longing of generation after generation for the Lord. He cannot keep silent and he will not remain quiet, for Isaiah knows that only God can rescue Israel. This deep desire continues in Luke when Simeon and Anna finally encounter the Messiah, the promised Savior that humanity has been waiting and longing for.  As Simeon expressed, it was worth waiting his whole life for…even to die for.  This is the reality and hope that we are living in today!

Let’s receive afresh this hope and joy of God’s salvation that has changed our lives and will continue to change us.  By His Spirit, we are no longer longing from afar but we can know and relate with our risen Savior! Let’s respond to this salvation reality by praying for others in our Churches, Missional Groups, and Campuses that they also will see and know the Lord like never before.  Let’s ask that God would give us a longing for them to be healed and set free as they turn to Christ.

Tomorrow we will all come together to worship the Lord and experience His presence with us.  In some ways it will be like Christmas (but in a different way) with all the Churches coming together to worship the Lord.  That alone could be the gift.  But God has something more for us, so let’s continue to come humbly to Him, turning from self-driven ways, and praying, asking that He will come and meet with us.  It will truly be something to die for…

Thursday: “Merry Christmas! For unto us a Child was born…”

Thursday, December 25th, 2014

Wednesday: “Christmas Worship”

Wednesday, December 24th, 2014

Tuesday: “Christmas Surprise”

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

Monday: “Christmas Promise”

Monday, December 22nd, 2014