Monday, December 26, 2005
There will be no more Prayer Pals until after the New Year. Please feel free to re-read past Prayer Pals from my archives.
My verse for the Prayer Pal Ministry next year is:
Jesus said, "you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
It is my prayer that through the Prayer Pal, I will be a witness in my community, country and the whole world! If you have been blessed by the Prayer Pal, please place a comment on my blog and tell me where in the world you are reading. I would love to know how far reaching this ministry is.
Merry Christmas with love from The Prayer Pal.
Friday, December 23, 2005
Jesus said, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
Father in Heaven~
Your extravagant love is amazing! It’s a wonder that You love a worthless, wicked world so much that You gave us Your One and Only dear Son. He is all we really need this Christmas!
Today I open my hands and gratefully receive the incredible, indescribable gift sent personally to me from heaven. Claiming this costly cargo saved my life. Sunken in the scratchy sack of straw is Your sweet Son, my Savior
I opened the door and brought You into the dingy, dark, dismal room in my heart. You came in to my mixed up, messed up life and promised to stay there with me forever. Wretched, naked, and poor, You lovingly chose, adopted, and accepted me. I became Your dearly beloved child. You bathed me in the fragrant fountain of forgiveness, washing away every blemish and blot until I sparkled with beauty. You gave me an elegant robe of righteousness to cover my shame. You cleared the clutter from the messed up room in my mind, and lavished me with good and perfect gifts.
Joyfully, I received the Good News that a room is reserved for me in Your heavenly home where, as an heir, I will live and worship You forever. It is paid for in full, guaranteed by your rich redeeming grace. This Christmas I will celebrate my abundant, everlasting life with You.
Realizing the extent of Your excessive love, I can’t help but explode with excitement! When I exhibit the manger on the mantle of my mind year round, I will remember to eagerly extend the extreme gift of grace to an imperfect, immoral and impious world. With the Star of Heaven hovering over my heart, every day will be Christmas. You will be glorified in heaven on high and I will demonstrate peace on earth good will toward men. Wise and wondering people will follow the Light, find the Savior, and worship You.
Thank You Father, for giving me Your Son! He is all I ever need and it is through Him I pray. Amen.
I hope the prayers from my heart resonate in your heart this Christmas. All we really need is Jesus!
If you’ve never opened the door of your heart to Him, He is standing out in the cold, knocking, waiting to come in and give you all these glorious gifts. Open the door and invite Him in by praying a simple prayer: "Jesus, thank you for dying for my sins. Right now I open the door and invite you to come into my life. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me an eternal relationship with you."
Whatever is going on in your world this Christmas, there is no greater gift you could give yourself than to receive the One who came to earth for us.
If you prayed this prayer, I would love to hear about it!
Thursday, December 22, 2005
When it was time to leave, they went home another way, because God had warned them in a dream not to return to Herod.
You are an all-inspiring, all-knowing and all-wise Advisor. The depth of Your wisdom and knowledge is incomprehensible. You are always right – never wrong. In the classroom of my heart, You patiently teach me valuable life lessons repeatedly until they penetrate my brain. If I pay attention to The Book of Ancient History, I will receive the wonderful treasure of wisdom. Bound with boldness, stitched with faith, I will heed your warnings no matter how ridiculous they seem! I will remember Noah, who when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear, built an ark to save his family. How foolish he looked to the world, but in the end his reward was the richness of his life.
You will always steer me away from trouble if I will just slow down, humble myself and listen. Your Word is my directional map to the hidden treasure. When I wander off the highway of holiness, Your commands are the compass that correct me. Your laws illuminate the way and lead me. Your instructions are the gauges that guide me. Your promises protect me on the journey.
All I really want for Christmas is the wonderful treasure of wisdom wrapped in the richness of Your Word. Open to Your intelligent insight and superb suggestions, I too will boldly choose to take the unfamiliar, alternate route trusting You as my reliable Co-Pilot. Listening to Your commands, I will avoid danger, disaster, and even death.
Following You down the highway to heaven, I will shine with the brightness of Your glory leading others on the Journey to Jesus, for Yours is wisdom, knowledge, and understanding forever. Amen.
God has graciously given you the treasure of wisdom, The Book of Ancient History, The Bible. Will you take it off the shelf, dust it off, and follow Him? It may require that you take an unfamiliar detour, but the rich reward of life will be worth it.
Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of heaven.
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
10When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.
Holy Child of God-
I have seen Your splendor and majesty brilliantly beaming down from heaven on high. Under the glowing streams of glory is the wonderful gift of worship. In awe of Your radiant reflection, I joyfully fall on my knees in adoration to worship You in the splendor of holiness. I praise Your great and awesome name!
Rose of Bethlehem
Son of God Most High
Light of the World
Prince of Peace
Lover of My Soul
King of Kings
Lord of Lords
And, my Best Friend
You are the worthy of the best I have to offer.
Generously, I give you the tarnished gold of my life. Purify me. Remove the grime, and I will glitter and glimmer becoming incredibly valuable to You. Selflessly surrendered to You my King, I will sparkle when I sincerely worship You with a life of service.
Freely, I offer You my fragrant frankincense of faithful prayers flowing heavenward. The sweet sound of the song in my heart will be a pleasant perfume of praise to You, O Sovereign God.
Boldly, I bring to You the bitter myrrh of my brokenness. In the shining strength and splendor of Your sanctuary, You graciously accept the sacrifice of my suffering and shame, restoring my righteousness with heavenly healing.
All I really want this Christmas is to worship You with all my soul and strength like the star-guided strangers. After a long strenuous journey through darkness, I have found You in the home of my heart. Now I want to open the glowing streams of glory, take out the wonderful gift of worship, and triumphantly sing in exultation, "Glory to God, all glory in the highest." Hallelujah! Amen.
If You have found the gift of the Christ Child in your heart, will you bow down and worship him? Give Him the tarnished gold of your life. He can make it beautiful. Present him the sweet scent of your prayers and praise. Offer him the bitterness of your suffering and sorrow. Then find someone who needs the heart of Christmas and offer them the Child of Christmas.
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
The wise men went their way. Once again the star appeared to them, guiding them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was.
O Lord, my Lord, the majesty of Your name fills the whole earth! Your glory is higher than the heavens. Gazing at the night sky I see the magnificent work of Your fingers. You spoke and the heavens were made. One breath from Your mouth made millions of individual, inimitable stars. One of them shined brighter and more beautifully than all the others. It was the Bright Morning Star, blazing like a diamond in the sky. It gave brilliant light to the Magi, leading them to the Star of Heaven, the Child of Christmas. Great are You Lord and mighty in power!
All I really want this Christmas is the Star of Heaven to light up my heart. You are the light of the world. When I follow You, I will never fumble and stumble through frightening darkness. Your Word is pure illumination for my cloudy eyes. It is the dazzling ray that leads me to the Christ child. Following the radiant beam of Your holy face, I will be morally pure, patient and peaceful. Loving and serving others without complaining or arguing, I will twinkle like a star in the universe for You. Whether I’m hustling and bustling to entertain family and friends, hurrying and scurrying to buy the perfect present, or meticulously decorating and dressing my home in holiday finery, I want to sparkle like the Bright Morning Star so that others will see Jesus glowing in me this Christmas. To God be the glory for radiant gift of Light! Amen.
In the midst of the holiday hustle and bustle, is the Star of Heaven lighting up your heart? You may have to slow down. Entertaining friends and family is meaningless if Christ isn’t present glowing in the preparations. There is no present like the gift of Jesus. Rather than rushing to the mall, consider giving someone the gift of your time, talent or treasure. They might be more appreciative and you might be less stressed. A beautifully decorated home is dark if God’s peace and patience isn’t ablaze. Plug into the Power Source that will light you up like a beautifully bejeweled Christmas Tree, and lead others to the Treasure of Christmas.
Philippians 2: 14-16
14Do everything without complaining or arguing, 15so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe 16as you hold out the word of life.
Light is shed upon the righteous and joy on the upright in heart.
Monday, December 19, 2005
1After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him."
I see him, but not in the present time.I perceive him, but far in the distant future.A star will rise from Jacob;a scepter will emerge from Israel. NLT
Wondrous Star of Heaven-
God’s pure and perfect Light, Balaam an ancient sorcerer prophesied You1400 years before You broke through the night sky. This was not to make sorcery acceptable, but to show that You are in control, and that good can come from evil.
All I really want this Christmas is knowledge of Your Holy Book. The Bible is more than a collection of creative fables and fairytales about princes and paupers in far away places. It’s Your very word, clearly and concisely written by holy people to speak to me. It’s an incredible love story! Within it are inspiring stories about real people, majestic poetry and songs, direct messages and prophesies, and most importantly Your story of visiting earth in the Person of Jesus. Thank You for making this incredible gift available to me.
At the Living Word Academy, held in the classroom of my heart, I will begin to understand the mysteries of Your will. With the Holy Spirit as my Teacher, I will learn that You are altogether authentic, totally truthful, and really reliable. As I spend time researching and studying, I will start to comprehend Your magnificent splendor. When I’m paying attention, Your words will leap to life and light the way, answering life’s deepest and most difficult questions. With problems and pressures crushing me, I will fearfully remember Your decisions, discipline and deliverance. Reverently, I will recall Your promises, wonders, and blessings.
Full of knowledge, I will be like the Magi who knew and remembered ancient history, recognized and believed prophesy, and willingly left their familiar surroundings to follow the Wondrous Star of Heaven.
O Star of Wonder, Star of Light, Star with royal beauty bright, westward leading still proceeding, guide me to Your Perfect Light. Amen.
The Bible clearly prophesies that Christ will return to reign as King over all the earth (Revelations 22:7). Do you know and remember ancient history well enough to recognize the fulfillment of this prophesy? It’s not too late to attend the Living Word Academy. The only textbook required is Your Bible, the Living Word of God. The Teacher is the Holy Spirit. Open The Book and start studying so that you won’t miss the signs.
2 Peter: 1: 16-21
16For we were not making up clever stories when we told you about the power of our Lord Jesus Christ and his coming again. We have seen his majestic splendor with our own eyes. 17And he received honor and glory from God the Father when God's glorious, majestic voice called down from heaven, "This is my beloved Son; I am fully pleased with him." 18We ourselves heard the voice when we were there with him on the holy mountain.
19Because of that, we have even greater confidence in the message proclaimed by the prophets. Pay close attention to what they wrote, for their words are like a light shining in a dark place--until the day Christ appears and his brilliant light shines in your hearts. 20Above all, you must understand that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophets themselves 21or because they wanted to prophesy. It was the Holy Spirit who moved the prophets to speak from God.
Friday, December 16, 2005
20An angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. "Joseph, son of David," the angel said, "do not be afraid to go ahead with your marriage to Mary. For the child within her has been conceived by the Holy Spirit. 21And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." 22All of this happened to fulfill the Lord's message through his prophet:
23 "Look! The virgin will conceive a child!
She will give birth to a son,
and he will be called Immanuel
(meaning, God is with us)."
Holy Child of Bethlehem, You were sent down from our Father in heaven to be with me today. There is no gift more impressive than immortal, invincible Immanuel, Your beautiful baby boy born to be with me. He is the glorious gift of grace and treasure of truth.
You sent this lovely package to me when I was still Your enemy. I was hateful, fearful, and prideful when You knocked on the door of my heart. Inconvenienced and irritated by the interruption, I objectionably opened the door to find Your gentle hands reaching out to give me a valuable vessel of love. The glow of the gift You extended to me extinguished the anger, arrogance and apprehension. I couldn’t resist receiving it and inviting You in to be with me.
In the living room, I cautiously opened Your container by the flickering flame in my heart. By the heat of the hearth, I received each poignant promise You offered me. You promised to live with me and be my faithful, forever Friend. You showed me that You are greater and stronger than any one or any thing I have ever known. Trustworthy and dependable, You came to defend me. With You on my side, no one could be against me! Because You live with me, all fear is gone.
Immanuel, You are with me and You are all I really want this Christmas. Since You came down from above and breathed the air that I breath, experienced the pain that plagues me, and suffered the sorrow and sin that suppresses me, You can sympathize with me. You promise to hold me up by Your mighty hand. Because You live with me, I can triumphantly face tomorrow’s tough times and tragedies.
When the decorations are dismantled, and the daily difficulties of life resume, I must not forget the valuable vessel of love I received one Christmas in the blazing fire of my heart. Daily I must cling to Immanuel, celebrating my Mighty God who will be with me until the very end of the age for it’s through His glorious gift of grace that I live and pray. Amen.
If you have received the impressive gift of immortal, invincible Immanuel, celebrate that God is with you always! Because He is with you:
- You can face suffering
- You can face devastating loss
- You can face a broken heart
- You can face financial difficulties
- You can face legal challenges
- You can face persecution
- You can face betrayal
- You can face your cross
Jesus said, "And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God."
Thursday, December 15, 2005
36There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38Coming up to them (Mary and Joseph) 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.
1 But now, this is what the LORD says …
"Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
3 For I am the LORD, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior …
4 Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
and because I love you …
5 Do not be afraid, for I am with you
Redeeming Child of God~
I will never leave the temple of my heart! Day and night I will worship You. Ceaselessly, I will give thanks to You for Your rich redeeming grace. With Your life, You have made a hefty deposit for me in the Kingdom of Heaven. My room is paid in full and guaranteed, signed and sealed by the Holy Spirit. Blessed assurance!
Continually, I will praise You by telling everyone my story of Your redeeming love:
- You paid a high price for my freedom
- You called me by name
- I belong to You
- You will be with me through all kinds of trials, troubles and tragedies
- You are my Savior
- I am precious to You
- I am privileged
- You love me
Graciously accept God’s promised gift of redemption this Christmas. Praise Him for it by telling others what He has done for you.
13And now you also have heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. 14The Spirit is God's guarantee that he will give us everything he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. This is just one more reason for us to praise our glorious God.
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
16The shepherds hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18and all who heard it were amazed.
I feel the energy and enthusiasm of the shepherds as they rushed off to find the Holy Child, Lamb of God, wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. When they saw him they exploded with excitement. They could not contain the Good News! It erupted from their hearts with great force. People were amazed! Jesus Christ was born! The long awaited Messiah. The promised King. Their Redeemer and Saving Grace had been born to set them free! The greatest event in history happened right before their eyes. They witnessed a miracle. The miracle of Christmas on an ordinary night.
A tender baby in the manger of my heart
A studious boy in the temple of my heart
An intellectual man in the classroom of my heart
On the cross suffering for my heart
Resurrected to save my heart
This Child has been born in me! All I really want for Christmas is the supernatural energy and enthusiasm You gave the shepherds to go tell the Good News to all those around me! Jesus Christ is born! A miracle has happened before my eyes and I am exploding with excitement. I have seen Your shining glory and heard your gentle voice say, "Do not be afraid. I bring Good News of great joy that will be for ALL people." Holy Spirit, open ears to hear this Good News and may someone find Jesus through me this Christmas. Glory to God in the highest! Amen.
Ask the Holy Spirit for the gift of energy and enthusiasm to share the excitement of Jesus with someone this Christmas.
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
The angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people."
Today I received the most beautiful greeting card from You, my Father in Heaven. When I was walking through a dark valley, a brilliant array of brightness burst through the night sky, stunning me. An angel, surrounded by the radiance of Your majesty and splendor, joyfully delivered a magnificent message to me. The good news was that the promised Messiah was born in the Bethlehem of my heart to save me from my sin! My soul sings for joy because You chose to send this glad greeting to me.
All I really want for Christmas is the joy of my salvation! Because You chose and adopted me into Your royal family, a room is reversed for me in Your heavenly mansion! You will be my Father and I will be Your dearly loved child forever. You have lavished me with knowledge and wisdom, illuminating the highway to heaven where I will find joy in Your presence and eternal pleasures.
Upon arriving in the hallowed halls of heaven, You will wipe every tear from my eye. You will crown me with forgiveness, clothe me with a robe of righteousness, and cover me with the priceless jewels of Jesus, purchased with His blood. I will be made new. My heart leaps for joy at the very thought of my rich rewards.
Until I get there, I will be seized by sin, suffering and sorrow. I will be attacked by anger, anxiety, and anguish. I will be stripped by shame, stress and stupidity. I will be flogged by fear, and beaten by bitterness and boasting. I may even be shackled and sent to prison for my passionate pursuit of righteousness. In the midst of my misery, I will rejoice and give thanks to You for accomplishing Your will in my life. Singing sweet songs of salvation in my sadness, and powerfully pleading for patience during pain, I will smile when I feel like crying. Then others held hostage around me will hear my heavenly hope, their chains will come loose, and they will be saved and set free when they choose to believe.
Lord, You and You alone are my joy and delight. Your joy is my strength. No one can ever take this treasured possession from me. Please put a smile on my face that reflects the joy in my heart this Christmas because of Jesus! Amen.
This good news of great joy has been delivered to you too. You can choose to open it or put it away. What is one trial that causes you the greatest grief, excruciating pain, and deep depression? Unwrap the Word of God, write down three of Your favorite promises, remember them, and rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS. Celebrate that you’ve been chosen by God to receive the good news of great joy!
Read how Paul responded to adversity in Acts 16:16-40.
Monday, December 12, 2005
1In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2(This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3And everyone went to his own town to register.
4So 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. 5He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Beautiful Baby Jesus,
On a busy night in Bethlehem, You left Your throne and crown in heaven to come to earth for me. Because of the hustle and bustle of the season, there was no room for you at the village inn. No one in the crowded community recognized You as God. Rejected, You were offered the dark and dirty stable.
Not much has changed in 2000 years. We’re still too self-absorbed to notice You in our midst. Caught up in consumerism, we’re busy buying presents, baking cookies, trimming trees, and hosting parties. We’ve forgotten the reason for the season. Today, You’re rejected at the inn of our hearts, left outside in the cold dark world.
All I really want this Christmas is room in my heart for You. Please come in and warm up. Every room in this heart of mine is available to You. Some of the rooms have been tightly locked for years. Behind those dark doors that won’t budge are hurt, confusion, and sorrow. I’ve been avoiding the mess in these rooms for a long time. Cleaning and removing the rubbish is hard work. I’d rather be doing fun things like shopping, baking, decorating, and entertaining.
Today, I’m inviting you to enter those secret chambers. In the hallway of hurt, wash my wounds. Show me the hidden treasure in my pain. Soak my sorrow in Your sweet solution of comfort and love. Turn my mourning to joy. Plunge beyond the locked door of my past. Purify me in the fountain of forgiveness. In your ceaseless compassion and mercy, I will discover peace in my pain and power in my problems. In this room, I will allow You to carefully pick up the shatter pieces of my past and masterfully restore my radiance.
As long as I keep You out of these dark and dirty rooms, I am rejecting You. This Christmas, I am inviting You to enter into all of my life. Here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it, seal for thy courts above. Amen.
Where do you have the Keep Out sign posted? What messy room in your life has been tightly locked for many years? This Christmas give Jesus the key and let Him in. He will clean it beautifully.
Friday, December 09, 2005
39At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, 40where she entered Zechariah's home and greeted Elizabeth. 41When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42In a loud voice she exclaimed: "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! 43But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!"
46And Mary said:
"My soul glorifies the Lord
47and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
50His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
51He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
52He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
53He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
54He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
55to Abraham and his descendants forever,
even as he said to our fathers."
56Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.
This is a beautiful picture of blessed fellowship. Bewildered, Mary, having just received the incredible news that she would deliver Your Son, the Holy Child, into the cold dark world, ran to find an empathetic friend, Elizabeth. I can only imagine their mixed emotions, confusion and elation as they warmly greeted one another.
Elizabeth who was blessed with her own miracle wasn’t jealous that Mary’s miracle was superior. Instead, filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit, she welcomed the young pregnant virgin and blessed her with encouraging words. Her baby leaped within her as she exalted You, Most High God.
Mary responded with her own magnificent blessing – even greater than Elizabeth’s! Together they worshipped, glorified and praised You for their astonishing wonders! What an amazing model they are for Christian fellowship!
All I really want this Christmas is the cherished gift of fellowship! Father, You have lovingly welcomed me into Your spiritual family. Being in Your family is the highest honor and greatest privilege. Nothing else comes close! In the protection of Your presence, we observe true humility. There, like Mary and Elizabeth, we learn to appreciate our own value in Christ and recognize our unique purpose. Secure and assure, we can gladly celebrate each other’s successes, knowing that You bless each of us in different ways at different times.
Father, I will demonstrate a tender Christmas heart when I weep with those who weep. I will show a humble Christmas mind when I rejoice in the blessings of others as though they were my own. I will lend strength to my family by seeing them for what they can be, not for what they appear to be now because I know by One gift You are making each of us perfect forever. Amen.
Who’s knocking on the door of your heart, seeking support and encouragement this Christmas? Open the door and warmly welcome them even if they look or speak different than you. Show them the warmth of Christmas love. Give them the precious gift of fellowship.
Thursday, December 08, 2005
26In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. 28The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you."
29Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. 31You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. 32He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."
34"How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?"
35The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. 37For nothing is impossible with God."
38"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said."
45Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!"
God of Wonders-
You never cease to amaze me with the things You do. The world was expecting the long promised King to appear with pomp and circumstances in a plush palace, born to a rich virgin princess. Instead, the Promised One came in an unadorned package to an ordinary girl with an extraordinary princess heart, in the rural countryside, far from the royal palace.
You revealed Yourself to this normal young girl who could have been my own daughter. Though she was only a child, she had faith to believe You. I can only imagine her fear when the angel appeared with the incredible news that she would give birth to the Son of God Most High. Yet she did not waiver in her faith. She simply believed that nothing was impossible for You. She humbly accepted the gift You gave her, and the responsibility that came with it. Then, she found a faithful friend and worshipped You with a joyful heart.
If You are pleased with me and want to grant my request, all I really want for Christmas is the faith of Mary to believe You. I want to recognize the no-frills, fabulous, fruitful gift of faith. When You speak to me through Bible study, prayer, friends, and circumstances I want to marvel at the mysteries of Your will. Confidently and graciously, I will accept the unembellished box believing in the beauty of its contents. With the humble faithful heart of a servant, I will accept the responsibility entrusted to me by delivering Jesus, the Holy Son of God Most High to a cold, dark, dreary world.
With a merry melody in my heart, I worship You, my adoring Heavenly Father, for offering me the fabulous, fruitful gift of faith. Amen.
Have you truly received the gift of faith? If so, the angel of God Most High has spoken to you. Deliver the Holy Child to someone this Christmas … share the Good News with a lost soul, serve someone needy, love the unlovable, forgive the unforgivable, reach out and give someone Jesus.
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
35Do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord, no matter what happens. Remember the great reward it brings you! 36Patient endurance is what you need now, so you will continue to do God's will. Then you will receive all that he has promised. NLT
Jesus said, "The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found out the great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it."
Merciful and Patient Father~
As the holidays approach, many things will get under my skin and irritate me. Amid the masses of panicked shoppers, I will inevitably go insane! Belligerent bargain hunters will bowl over me. Cantankerous consumers will make me crazy with their constant complaining, and mad merchants will make me miserable. Impatient drivers will give me dirty looks and obscene gestures. In their hate and haste, they’ll steal parking spaces, and carelessly ding and dent my car. Unappreciative friends and relatives will grumble about the gift that I painstakingly selected. Ungrateful guests will grouse about the grub I serve at our holiday feast. So much to do in so little time and I, dear Lord, will need a lot of patience this Christmas!
Please leave the priceless Pearl of Patience under the Christmas tree for me. Wearing it around my neck I will remember Your infinite mercy and grace. You’re slow to anger and abounding in love. Publicly displaying the symbol of purity and perfection will remind me to love those who annoy me. Quietly, I will endure the pain they impose. Instead of responding unpleasantly, I will pray continuously. Rather than quarreling, I will be tolerant and tenderhearted. Use the irritations that get under my skin to make an unusually elegant Pearl of Patience. Let it capture the attention of greedy people and guide them to the gift of Jesus, the One and Only Pearl unmatched in beauty and splendor.
To Him who will greatly reward me in the kingdom of heaven through the priceless Pearl of Patience, be the glory in all I say and do this Christmas. Amen.
Ask God to give you the Pearl of Patience this Christmas. Wearing it, you will graciously endure irritating people and circumstances this holiday season. .
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
1Follow God's example in everything you do, because you are his dear children. 2Live a life filled with love for others, following the example of Christ, who loved you and gave himself as a sacrifice to take away your sins. And God was pleased, because that sacrifice was like sweet perfume to him. NLT
3Then Mary took a twelve-ounce jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus' feet with it and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with fragrance. NLT
Extravagant Lord of Love,
I am excited to receive another extraordinary gift from You! Delicately wrapped in a soft blanket, exhibited in an extremely simple wooden box, was the most exceptionally expensive Jar of Jesus, Heaven Scent. It contained an unusually costly ingredient – Your life. To experience its heavenly fragrance, the elegant Jar of Jesus was delivered to a young girl with a princess heart, in a smelly stable. It became her most precious possession. Until one day, at Your exact time, the beautiful Jar of Jesus was broken to extend its sweet contents on a putrid world.
Lord, all I really want this Christmas is Your extravagant love poured onto me. Bathe my heart in Your sweet essence. Purify me with the fragrance of Your hallowed presence. Possess me with Your pleasant perfume. With Your costly cologne emptied on me, I will experience peace in my pain and power in my problems. With the sweet heart of Jesus Heaven Scent, I will exude a delightful aroma attracting others to You.
Washed in Your extravagant love, with a wonderfully white Christmas Heart, I will humbly, let down my hair. Without hesitation, I will gratefully break the bottle of my body and pour out my most precious possession for You. Selflessly serving family, friends and others this Christmas will be a pleasing act of love and worship. Any time, any place, any price, I will invest all of my life in You so that the sweet fragrance Heaven Scent, will fill my surroundings. My love and adoration will beautifully honor You as Christ the glorious new born King.
Bathe your smelly heart in the sweet essence of Jesus so that others will detect the delightful odor and be drawn to Christ the glorious new born King.
Monday, December 05, 2005
1Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
Hope of Heaven~
You are my heart’s desire! I’m thankful for the precious, priceless, perfect gift of peace I received the hour I first believed. Accepting it placed me in a position of privilege in Your presence. Unwrapping it, I found, hidden within the package of peace, the Jewel of Jesus, my Hope of Heaven. My eyes glisten with glad tears as I gaze upon Your glory. Through the lustrous allure, I see the brilliance of Heaven coming down from the heart of God. Shining brighter than the summer sun on my soul, I’m not disappointed in the incredible gift You’ve given me! Picking it up, I place it on the platform of my heart.
With the Hope of Heaven in my heart, I can cheerfully embrace problems. Your power will give me patience to persist through the pressures of sin, suffering and sadness. Pain will purify and perfect my personality, making me a pleasing platform to display Your power and grace to a watching world.
Dear Lord, all I really want this Christmas is the Hope of Heaven sealed in my heart through love, so that others will be drawn to the Jewel of Jesus glittering me in. No matter how busy, frustrated, or tired I am this holiday season, please help me to keep smiling and respond with patience and kindness. No matter how sick, lousy, or hurt I feel, give me a cheerful heart and a desire to serve others in love. Make my heart a shimmering showcase to display the precious jewels of Your character reflected in me. Please dear Lord, let me sparkle this Christmas, so that others will see the Hope of Heaven and be blessed for Your name sake. Amen.
What a priceless gift! How will you choose to display the Hope of Heaven this Christmas?
Romans 8:17 And since we are his children, we will share his treasures--for everything God gives to his Son, Christ, is ours, too. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.
Friday, December 02, 2005
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
Jehovah-rapha, Healing Lord,
How great You are! There is no Doctor like You in heaven or on earth! You compassionately and lovingly take care of Your patients who pursue You with all their heart. Thank You God for my heart transplant. Through intricate surgery, You made a Most Holy Place in my heart for Your Name. When my heart was open, You placed Your sacred laws in me. God, I rejoice that You will dwell there forever.
Divine Doctor, as I spend time with You this week, examine my heart. Find the diseases that are devouring me. Make a diagnosis. Open my mind to receive it with acceptance. Then, let the medication of Your glory fill my sick soul this Christmas. Breathe new life into me. Resuscitate me and I will follow Your prescription for healing:
- Humbly, I will admit that I am ill and in need of Your care.
- Prayerfully, I will ask You to wash my wounds and heal my hurts.
- Continually, I will seek Your advice by spending time in Your Word, the Holy Bible.
- Daily, I will bring my afflictions to You.
Open your heart for examination, listen and accept the diagnosis, no matter how painful, and you will receive the healing balm sent from heaven.
Deadly Diseases from A-Z
Abscess of Anger, Arrogance, Adultery, Alcoholism
Blisters of Bitterness, Boasting
Cut of Criticism, Complaining, Complacency
Disease of Death, Deceit, Divorce, Disrespect
Epidemic of Envy, Evil Tongue
Fever of Fear, Fornication
Gash of Gossip, Greed, Gluttony, Gambling
Hemorrhage of Hate, Hypocrisy, Homosexuality
Irritation of Immorality, Impatience, Idolatry, Impurity, Irreverence
Joints that ache from Jealousy, Judging
Kink of Killjoy, Knavery
Lesion of Lying, Laziness, Lack of Love, Lust
Malignancy of Murder, Misplaced Priorities
Nausea of Nagging, Nastiness
Oppression of Oblivion, Obnoxiousness, Obstinacy
Pain of Praylessness, Procrastination, Pride, Pornography
Queasiness of a Quick Temper
Rash of Rebellion, Retaliation
Sting of Sorrow, Selfishness
Toxin of Temptation
Ulcer of Unforgiveness, Ungratefulness, Unbelief
Virus of Vanity, Vengeance
Wounds of Worry, Wrong Friends, Worldly Entertainment
Yaws of Yelling
Zits of Zero Time With You
Thursday, December 01, 2005
The angel told Joseph, "She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."
15And what a difference between our sin and God's generous gift of forgiveness. For this one man, Adam, brought death to many through his sin. But this other man, Jesus Christ, brought forgiveness to many through God's bountiful gift. NLT
Luke 23: 33, 34 … they crucified him, along with the criminals. Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."
My Faithful Father and Friend-
You are the giver of all good and perfect gifts! Thank You for the fabulous gift of forgiveness. It arrived when I was wondering aimlessly, staring death in the face, and hell was hard on my heels. I didn’t know which way to turn. Desperately, I cried out to You for help. In Your ceaseless compassion and mercy, You heard my prayer and answered, giving me Your Son.
Laying down all the shattered pieces of my life, I knelt at the foot of the cross. There, Your precious Son shamefully hung in excruciating pain, exhausted, and asphyxiated. As the crimson blood and pure water dripped on me from His open wounds, He begged You to forgive those who drove the nails into his hands. Sadly, I was one of them! It was my sins that held Him there!
Let those Words, "Father, forgive them for they don’t know what they’re doing," penetrate the hollow of my heart and sink deep into my brain this Christmas. No matter what I’ve done in the past, I am completely forgiven. At the foot of the cross, You gently, meticulously and painstakingly picked up each devastated piece of my life and masterfully restored my lustrous allure.
All I really want this Christmas is to accept the fabulous gift of forgiveness. This present comes with a huge responsibility. If I accept it, I must give it away. Because You bought it for me with Your bruised, battered, and broken body, You expect me to pardon people who have inflicted me with pain. No hurt I endure on earth can compare to the agony of Your death on the cross.
Thank you, Father, for giving me Your Son to save me from my sin!
Since my sins have been forgiven in Your name, please empower me to pass the present of forgiveness to someone undeserving this Christmas for the honor of Your glorious name! Amen.
Because I have accepted Your gift of forgiveness, I will forgive ______________________ for the glory of Your name. Fill in the blank and obey, for it is written: "if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you." Matthew 6:14