Monthly archive for December 2016

Advent ~ day 24 ~ Christmas Eve

Advent ~ day 24 ~ Christmas Eve

On Christmas Eve in 1865, Philip Brooks, a minister of Holy Trinity Church in Philadelphia, travelled through the fields from Jerusalem to Bethlehem. He wrote about this journey: “After and early dinner, we took our horses and rode to Bethlehem. It was only about two hours when we came to the town, situated on an eastern ridge of a range of hills, surrounded by its terraced gardens. It is a good-looking town, better build than any other we have seen in Palestine. . . . Before dark, we rode out of town to the field, where they say the shepherds

Read more

Advent ~ day 23 ~ Magi part 3

When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, the magi left for their own country by another way. (‭Matthew‬ ‭2‬:‭10-12‬ NASB) As we said yesterday, the Magi did the only appropriate thing when they found Jesus, they worshipped and gave gifts. The famous gifts of Gold, Fankincense

Read more

Advent ~ day 22 ~ The Magi, part 2

And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, so that I too may come and worship Him.” After hearing the king, they went their way; and the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them until it came and stood over the place where the Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him.

Read more

Advent ~ day 21 ~ The Magi

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:

Read more

Advent ~ day 20 ~ Simeon & Anna part2

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. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 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, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss

Read more

Advent ~ day 19 ~ Simeon and Anna part 1

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. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 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, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss

Read more

Advent ~ day 18 ~ the eight day

And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb Luke 2:21 So on the eight day, he was circumcised. The eight day is medically significant because there are high levels of Vitamin K and the level of Prothrombin is over 100% of normal, the only time in a males life when this will be the case. Both Vitamin K and Prothrombin are clotting agents so the eight day is the perfect day for circumcision to be performed, another example of God’s

Read more

Advent ~ day 17 ~ Mary treasured these things

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned,

Read more

Advent ~ day 16 ~ shepherds part 2

The shepherds knew of the customs and religious practices of the day, though they weren’t able to join in because of their lifestyle. They new the significance of sacrifice for it was their very sheep that they were watching over that were to be used. Staying out with the sheep night after night was an endurance. The nights would have been long and cold, the conversation would have often run dry. But this night was different. The daily routine was interrupted by a visitation that terrified them. They were seemingly put at ease as the angel told them not to

Read more

Advent ~ day 15 ~ shepherds

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a

Read more

Advent ~ day 14 ~ the birth part 2

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for

Read more

Advent ~ day 13 ~ the journey and the birth part 1

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for

Read more

Advent ~ day 12 ~ the forerunner

And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.” And the child grew and became strong in spirit; and he lived in the wilderness until he appeared

Read more

Advent ~ day 11 ~ a word that sustains

I feel that sometimes we get very familiar with scripture. I know that I do, I can read something again and again and I don’t always stop to think about what is happening. We tend to think of the birth of Jesus as just that, the birth. We might think of the angelic encounter at the start, and maybe Mary’s visit to Elizabeth, but nothing else. The story jumps immediately to the journey into Bethlehem, but that is 9 months later. That is a whole lot of unaccounted for time, about which we can only speculate. But based on what

Read more

Advent ~ day 10 ~ Genealogy

1 This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham: 2 Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, 3 Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar, Perez the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram, 4 Ram the father of Amminadab, Amminadab the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon, 5 Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse, 6

Read more

Advent ~ day 9 ~ Joseph

This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what

Read more

Advent ~ day 8 ~ Mary and Elizabeth

At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is

Read more

Advent ~ day 7 ~ Mary, God’s choice

In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and

Read more

Advent ~ day 6 ~ a pregnant pause

“See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.” (‭Malachi‬ ‭4‬:‭5-6‬ NIV) These are the last words of the Old Testament. And then silence. 400 years of silence. In comedy and acting, the timing of your words is everything, it makes all the difference to the emphasis of what is being said. Similarly, punctuation creates timing and can

Read more

Advent ~ day 5 ~ the prophetic word

Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets. (‭Amos‬ ‭3‬:‭7‬ NIV) I love prophecy. I love that God would speak to us and excite with His plans and purposes. As we have just read in Amos, the Lord doesn’t do anything without revealing his word to His servants the prophets. The birth of Jesus is no exception, in fact it is one of the best examples of the prophetic word spoken and then fulfilled. 1. Jesus will come from the line of Abraham. Prophecy: Genesis 12:3 Fulfilled: Matthew 1:1 2. Jesus’ mother will

Read more

Advent ~ day 4 ~ The ministry of angels

Throughout these first few devotions we have been looking at Zechariah and his encounter in the temple. His angelic encounter is not an isolated event, in fact it is a frequent occurrence in the bible. From the Garden of Eden to Abrahamm, to Lot, Moses and Daniel, and this is to only name a few, angels have had a role in ministering and delivering messages from the Father. We can read more about their purpose in the book of Hebrews: In speaking of the angels he says, “He makes his angels spirits, and his servants flames of fire.” Are not

Read more

Advent ~ day 3 ~ Trust in Him

Luke 1:18-20 Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.” The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.” (‭Luke‬ ‭1‬:‭18-20‬ NIV) Time can take its toll in holding on to

Read more

Advent ~ day 2 ~ God has a plan

Luke 1:8-17 8 Once when Zechariah’s division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, 9 he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10 And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside. 11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12 When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. 13 But the angel said to him:

Read more

Advent ~ day 1 ~ God hears

And so we begin the season of advent, the coming of Jesus, I begin a season of thoughts and meditations on Jesus’ coming and the promise that He offers. I love this time of year and find it an excuse to indulge in the riches that it holds. I will start the journey in the book of Luke. Luke 1:8-17 8 Once when Zechariah’s division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, 9 he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense.

Read more