Daily Devotions

Posts tagged “manger

Christmas is the Story of Hope

The Christmas story is the story of hope — hope in the face of all that is contrary. Christmas time is a great time to use for the purpose of remembering, memorializing the fact, that when God says, “I will….”, then God will. He will move mountains, seas and people. In Josh. 2:11 the fact and realization is that our God is able to move anything or anyone in heaven or in earth to accomplish His purposes. He is able to move in the life of an obscure girl who had no credentials or evident reason for expecting to be part of an earth-shaking, history-shaping event. Her qualities and integrity (evidenced in the writings of both Matthew and Doctor Luke) helped to place her in the middle of the road where an unprecedented moving of God was progressing like a steamroller and changing history as man had known it. That change was taking place through a small handful of individuals and not through some large and varied political or military movement. From all that we can find concerning this person called Mary, precious few people even knew of her qualities and integrity. It would seem that Jehovah was about the only One who saw and might very well have been the only One who noticed. And by the time she was discovered to be with child, she would have been disqualified by any who did happen to notice. Had it not been for dreams and angels intervening by Divine directive, her own husband would have done away with her.
When God promised Abraham a son it would appear that it was long deferred. Abraham most likely thought that the son which was promised was his immediate son. However, that promised Son was the One through whom the world would be blessed, the One who would be called the Christ. This Son of promise proved to be coming at the great distance of some 42 generations and about 2,000 years. Though it be long and arduous by our standards, God Jehovah is faithful in all and brings about detail for detail that which was foretold long before it was realized in this realm which we call reality. Delays do nothing to weaken the promise of God; for in what seem to us to be delays, our all-wise and provisional Father is preparing a people who will walk out His fulfillment rather than being caught unawares and overcome by His fulfillment. As we learn in the New Testament teaching of our Lord, the new wineskin must be prepared for the new wine or it shall burst and the wine and its value lost.
It is interesting to note M. Henry’s observation on this one point: “This son of David, and son of Abraham, who was to be the glory of his Father’s house, was born when the seed of Abraham was a despised people, recently become tributary to the Roman yoke, and when the house of David was buried in obscurity; for Christ was to be a root out of a dry ground.” From such a studious observation we could readily come to the conclusion that the performance and provision of our God comes when circumstances would place upon it the heaviest it has to offer. Ease and convenience are not the components or the ambiance of fulfillment. The Christmas story is the story of hope — hope in the face of all that is contrary.


God is With Us

Emmanuel, “God is with us”, is the God-Man who was born of a virgin that God might dwell among men. Not only did Jesus, Emmanuel, live among men but He lived redemptively among men. He didn’t come to bring merely a message or a creed but He lived out redemptive acts through His life on earth. His disciples, those whom He has redeemed by His redemptive act of His shed blood on the cross must, in turn, live redemptively among men. There are too many and too much to redeem to simply live to go to heaven.  “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” (Matt.1:23, NKJV)


He has Provided us a King

As the people of God assemble today, may they rejoice in the God of their salvation for He has provided us a King who rules in righteousness (Isa.32:1). May they practice the wisdom of seeking Him.  “…Three wise men came from country far; To seek for a king was their intent…” “Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel, Born is the King of Israel.”
“Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O Daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King comes to you; He is [uncompromisingly] just and having salvation [triumphant and victorious], patient, meek, lowly, and riding on a donkey, upon a colt, the foal of a donkey.” (Zech.9:9, Amp)
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Kathy, Melissa and I invite you to join us live on Christmas Eve at 8:15pm Central Time for our annual family Christmas Eve Communion. We will be streaming live from our living room on Marty Gabler’s Facebook page reading the Word, singing, worshipping and taking communion. Join us live on Christmas Eve.

 


Leaving it in Capable Hands

(Melissa Gabler) Yesterday I was praying over a situation for which I have no answers and can do nothing about.  As soon as I prayed I heard, “Now, let go of all of your ideas of how this thing needs to be worked out and let Me have it.” As we head into Christmas and a new year may we lay down every weight, worry, and preconceived idea of what the will of God should look like in our current situations, and leave it in the capable hands of the One Whose birth we are celebrating! Have a very Merry Christmas and may you find peace unspeakable in the decision to trust the One who already set us free.
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Kathy, Melissa and I invite you to join us live on Christmas Eve at 8:15pm Central Time for our annual family Christmas Eve Communion. We will be streaming live from our living room on Marty Gabler’s Facebook page reading the Word, singing Christmas songs, worshipping and taking communion. Join us live on Christmas Eve.

 


Celebrating a Date or a Person?

About this time of the year zealous religious folks seem to come out of the woodwork and attempt to rebuke others for “celebrating Christmas”, stating that it is a pagan holiday. After I posted a “Have a BlessedChristmas” message a couple of years ago on Facebook, one such person contacted me and presumptuously proceeded to lecture me on the subject. Well, the short version is that I don’t celebrate holidays, I celebrate Jesus Christ and His birth, life, words, death and resurrection each and every day of the calendar—I enjoy 365 celebrations each year! A person who attends church on Saturday once tried to lecture me that the rest of us worship on the wrong day. I allowed him to know that I worship seven days a week and wondered why he only emphasized one day of worship a week when Jesus is worthy of worship every day, all day long. Our Lord had problems with people in His days on earth who legalistically observed days and calendar events, yet their lives, morals and values were no better than the pagans who also carefully observed days and calendar events. The hope of the church is not a calendar event. The hope of the church, of all mankind and of all history is a Person, Jesus Christ. Have our calendar dates and observances made us more into the image of Christ, doing the redemptive works of Christ or has our daily personal relationship and devotion/prayer to Him benefited those we come in contact with 24/7/365? After that mean-spirited person finished attacking me, I sorta felt like I would rather spend the holiday season with those pagans who culturally celebrated the Christmas season than with them and their mean disposition (and their sad family). It is, after all, the season of lights and the season of good cheer and giving—all of which may be found in the Bible, especially giving: “For unto us a child is born, unto us A SON IS GIVEN.” (Isa.9:6); “For God so loved the world THAT HE GAVE His only begotten son’ (Jn.3:16). It would seem that loving and giving go hand in hand as exemplified by our heavenly Father.
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Kathy, Melissa and I invite you to join us on Christmas Eve at 8:15pm Central Time for our annual family Christmas Eve Communion. We will be streaming live from our living room on Marty Gabler’s Facebook page reading the Word, singing, worshipping and taking communion. Join us live on Christmas Eve.

 


God With Us

Emmanuel, “God is with us”, is the God-Man who was born of a virgin that God might dwell among men. Not only did Jesus, Emmanuel, live among men but He lived redemptively among men. He didn’t come to bring merely a message or a creed but He lived out redemptive acts through His life on earth. His disciples, those whom He has redeemed by His redemptive act of His shed blood on the cross must, in turn, live redemptively among men. There are too many and too much to redeem to simply live to go to heaven.

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Miracles and Timing

Miracles are begun in grace and perfected in glory.  They start with God’s supernatural enabling and come to complete manifestation through His intent and purpose and timing.  As I wait on God, I shall continue to pray for miracles this Christmas season because the coming of the Christ is still in effect as well as God’s goodwill toward men.  May His presence and power and purpose and timing change your life as His goodwill touches the earth again.—Kathy Gabler

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