Daily Devotions

Posts tagged “shepherds

The Season of Rejoicing in His Names

mangerjesusAs the people of God assemble today may all ye faithful come, assemble today and be joyful and triumphant as we adore Him: CHRIST THE LORD, JESUS, KING OF THE JEWS, SON OF THE MOST HIGH, THE HOLY CHILD, SON OF GOD, GOD MY SAVIOR. (Luke Chapter One) We will be joyful in considering His names and titles and all their implications for Israel, for us and for the nations as were Gabriel and Mary. Let us give voice to those names and titles today with expressions of hope.


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.


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.

 


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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He Has Provided a Savior Who is Christ the Lord

As the people of God assemble today may they open their hearts and mouths and sing joyous praises to their God because He has provided a Savior. “Joy to the world the Lord is come!”  “Yes, they shall sing of the ways of the Lord and joyfully celebrate His mighty acts, for great is the glory of the Lord.” (Ps.138:5, Amp)

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Christmas, 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 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.

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Extraordinary All Year Long

The Christmas events were extraordinary. Angels were active and interactive with the characters in the event. Persons of high rank got personally angelshepherdsinvolved at great expense. Individuals of lowly birth and lowly means played as important a role as those of higher caste. Divine intervention and protection and wisdom kept the characters in pace and in place. Signs and wonders served to help the characters get into position at just the right time to be supply for Mary and Joseph and the Little One they were privileged to raise up for the saving of a nation.
Let us do far more than delight in the extraordinary events of the Christmas Advent. Let us consider them as that which was initiated to become the ordinary, all year long, for those who would embrace this Extraordinary One born in such an extraordinary way.
“And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, just as it had been told them.” (Lk 2:20, Amp)


 


God Working Behind the Scenes

handpullcurtainWaiting on God involves continuing to do what we were born to do instead of deciding to be still and silent in a puddle of disappointment. For the record, I did get past my disinclination to encourage people like Marty had asked me to that Sunday morning and, before midnight, I got two phone calls with reports of undeniable supernatural interventions.  I did not hear about them before Christmas like I had prayed, but both had happened the week before Christmas!  One was financial and one was a granddaughter coming to an incredible God-turn in her life.  I remembered the word of wisdom that started the financial miracle and I knew about that grandmother’s prayer vigil for that particular granddaughter.  So, I realized  before either miracle, there had been a “working of miracles” behind the scenes before anyone saw the actual miracle.
(This is the eighth excerpt from Kathy Gabler’s article “Christmas Miracles“ taken from Volume 20 Issue 6 of SEEC Magazine.)


 

 


Miracles Can Require Process

Miracles can require process, like Lazarus.  Dying was part of the process of his miracle!  In John 11, Some thought  “Jesus wept” because He was lazarusraisedgrieving over His friend, but I believe Jesus was weeping over their pain that misunderstanding caused during the process they were experiencing.  He had already said that the result of Lazarus’ sickness would not be death (vs. 4).  When Jesus got to the tomb, He got angry.  Again, I believe He was upset because they were not AWARE that a PROCESS means God is working on a much bigger project than just the lightening moment we need.  They did not know that the resurrection of Lazarus was a demonstration to convince hearts that Jesus was the Christ sent by God as well as a prophetic sign of His own resurrection to come.  Step by step, the resurrection of Lazarus was a crucial miracle that fulfilled a much bigger purpose than the personal need.
(This is the fifth excerpt from Kathy Gabler’s article “Christmas Miracles“ taken from Volume 20 Issue 6 of SEEC Magazine.)


 


Miracles Can Require Perseverance

womanissueblood
Miracles can require perseverance.  The woman with the issue of blood had at least five justifiable reasons to give up and die: her culture, her gender, her strength, her experience and the odds against success in actually reaching Jesus, but she pushed on.  Her moment of relief was only one part of that miracle.


 


He Has Provided a Savior

mangerjesusAs the people of God assemble today may they open their hearts and mouths and sing joyous praises to their God because He has provided a Savior. “Joy to the world the Lord is come!”
“Yes, they shall sing of the ways of the Lord and joyfully celebrate His mighty acts, for great is the glory of the Lord.” (Ps.138:5, Amp)


 


Christmas Miracles Pt.2

At 4:00 the next morning, I felt tears trickling across my nose and woke up enough to realize what I was thinking and hearing.  When I pray for sunandrainmiracles, I’m asking for a sudden, complete, supernatural change in circumstances or conditions or people.  Most often, we think of miracles as the moment of change or relief or resolve that comes like a lightning strike, but they might turn out to be a slow rain instead.  Rather than think God is unfaithful or uncaring because we haven’t had that lightening moment, perhaps we should consider  the working of miracles as a process and consider, as well, that part of that working includes all the time and preparation and specific details that miracles sometimes require.
(This is the second excerpt from Kathy Gabler’s article “Christmas Miracles“ taken from Volume 20 Issue 6 of SEEC Magazine.)


 


Someone Else’s Christmas Miracles

Last December, Marty was preparing to speak on Sunday.  Saturday night, he walked out of his office and said, “Before I start tomorrow, why don’t you encourage the people along the lines of how you have been praying for miracles in this Christmas season.”  I nodded like a sweet, obliging shepherdsstarhelpmate, not wanting to infect him with any “badditude” during his preparation.  One of the ways I sometimes demonstrate mercy is by not saying everything I’m thinking.  (Some folks reading this article can probably appreciate that more than others.)  As he walked back to his office, I continued thinking, “I’m not caught up in a forward momentum over that particular prayer this day after Christmas!”  Yes, it was still the season, but God had missed my deadlines for those prayers.  I wasn’t in a throw-down fit over that, but I was in a sit-down, back to the drawing board discouragement.  I mumbled to the Lord that I hadn’t seen a miracle in the Christmas season in any of the targets in my scope.  I even added, “But Lord, I’m still willing to rejoice over anybody’s miracle, my Church of Christ friend’s or my Lutheran friend’s or even a Democrat’s!  
(This is the first excerpt from Kathy Gabler’s article “Christmas Miracles“. More excerpts will be posted Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.)


 


The Wise Seek to Worship Him

WISE MEN

The birth of Jesus who is the Savior of the world was announced to the world in terms supernatural. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12, KJV) The means of pronouncement and the observances ThreeWisemenand experiences of those involved in the broadcast cannot be explained in mere natural terms. Not only did angels appear to Jewish shepherds but a heavenly phenomenon, that caught the attention of learned Gentile observers, was used to draw those Gentiles to the City of David to worship One whom they would hail as King of the Jews. They were able to predict our Lord’s birth and have been numbered among His earliest worshippers (the gifts themselves an act and type of worship).

Concerning the gold, frankincense, and myrrh, Adam Clarke comments: “Some will have these gifts to be emblematic of the Divinity, regal office, and manhood of Christ. They offered him incense as their God; gold as their king; and myrrh, as united to a human body, subject to suffering and death. The gold was probably a very providential supply, as on it, it is likely, they subsisted while in Egypt.”

The so-called Magi were evidently important persons in their own right. If Herodotus is correct, these men were Medes and were of the learned and priestly caste among the followers of Zoroaster. That would have made them worshippers of only one God and they would have, therefore, rejected polytheism and idolatry. “The simple creed and high morality, which Zoroastrianism in its purest form professed, were well adapted to prepare its faithful disciples to receive a further revelation, and we may reasonably believe that the wise men who had been thus guided to worship the new-born king of the Jews had been faithful to the light afforded to them, for ‘in every nation he that feareth Him (God), and worketh righteousness, is acceptable to Him’ Acts 10:35 (E.W. Maunder, ISBE). Egyptian pharaohs and Babylonian and Medo-Persian monarchs surrounded themselves with wise men. “Originating from the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates, the Magi were religious priests, Chaldeans, physicians, philosophers, astronomers, astrologers, soothsayers, in short, the brain trust of their kingdom.” (Tom Stewart, What Saith the Scripture?) Such are those who were seeking to worship the King of the Jews.

(This is the first of four excerpts from Marty’s article “Wisemen, A Star and Somebody’s Daughter“ which was published in SEEC Magazine [Marty and Kathy’s ministry magazine].)


 


God’s Will And Timing

angel_shepherdsExpectancy can develop out of a seed in the soul (experience, logic, desire, opinion, etc), but it can also arise out of God’s good plans.   When that is the case, God’s intent exceeds logic and desire and anything experience expects.  History proves there is no guarantee that an expectation forged out of desperation or emotion or panic will come to pass, but a holy expectation coming up out of our spirit in agreement with God’s will and timing, will bring a God-forged EXPECTANCY and His expected outcome (Jer. 29:11).

(This is the fourth excerpt from Kathy’s article “Expectancy.”  SEEC Magazine Volume 17 Issue 5)

 
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SEEC Kingdom Conference * Theme: “Thy Kingdom Come”
March 5-7, 2014 * Grace International Church * Willis, TX
Speakers: Jim Hodges, Dr. Don Crum, Marty Gabler, Kathy Gabler, Melissa Gabler, Simon Purvis
“. . .he talked to them about things concerning the kingdom of God.” (Acts 1:3)
seecministries.org   *   www.graceic.org

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