As we look at grace before we start to unpack it’s riches we must underand it. Webster defines grace as:
1 a: unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration or sanctification b: a virtue coming from God c: a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine assistance
Webster goes with what Psalm 84:11 NKJV, “For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold From those who walk uprightly.
Here is Bonnie’s version of Psalm 84:11; God is my light and protection. He is the giver of grace and glory. He keeps back nothing that is good for those who walk in His light.
We see God gives grace, we can’t create grace in and of ourselves.
Part of that grace He gives to us are the good things. That doesn’t mean if asked Him for a BMW, He’s going to give it to me. It could make me prideful which wouldn’t be good for me. See He won’t give me something that would cause me not to walk according to his light.
In 1 Corinthians 10:23; ” All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify. ” we come to the understanding that there are things that might be good but not helpful or edifying for us. My best example is watermelon. Watermelon is good, I love it, BUT it is not helpful to me. In fact it can be deadly to me. If I eat it or any melon my throat swells shut or get it on my hands they turn bright red and break out in hives. Neither of these reactions are helpful to me, likewise, God is not going to give us something which would cause something bad for us.
Through His grace He gives us good things that will build us up and not cause us harm.
Two years after Jesus was born the wise men showed up to the house Joseph had built. Why did it take them two years? They were likely Magi from Babylon and had studied the writings of Daniel. So when they saw the star in the sky they know what it meant. This is just my guess, the star didn’t appear until after Jesus was born. The only thing which happened in the sky on that night was the angels appearing to the shepherds. In Luke 2:9, we find the the glory of the Lord shone all around the shepherds.
Let’s dig into this. The Greek word that is used for glory is doxa. Here is where it gets interesting. When I pulled up the verse on Blue Letter Bible, in the outline for doxa, the third major point is splendour, brightness. The first sub-section is the moon, stars, and sun. Next is; magnificence, excellence, preeminence, dignity, and grace. The last sub-section is majesty and it is divided into three parts, which got me thinking. Fisrt, majesty is a thing belonging to God. Second, it is a thing belonging to Christ as the Messiah. Lastly, the angels extioror brightness.
We know the glory was so bright the shepherds were afraid. If these three form of doxa were combined in the sky wouldn’t it be as a bright star over one place even lasting for a couple of years? Was it the glory the wise men followed? We know that when Moses came down from mountian after spending time with God and his face radiated with God’s glory and it lasted for awhile. So with all this combined glory it could last for two years.
So, if this is what the wise men saw in the sky, then with the travel back then they could have taken two years to get to Israel. A camel, horses, can only go so far per day, let alone riding on one.
But that is not why the wise men shine in the story. Their main gift didn’t even make it into the song about them. Instead it was the drummer boy that got credit for their main gift. The first gift they gave to Jesus was from their hearts as they bowed before him and worshiped him the new born King.
As we enter this new decade and year may we remember to worship Jesus with our whole hearts.
Writing is all in the mind. If you have had bad experiences with writing or are stuck this is the book for you.
Having been made fun of in the seventh-grade for having the highest grade on a writing assignment, in college the grade on the assignment was lower because I didn’t follow what others wrote, and when I shared with some ladies friends about a book I had started writing, they told me not to bother because there was a book on that subject which nothing I could write would outdo that book. I stopped writing for years.
Now that I have started writing again the past has been messing with my thoughts in that I’m not good enough to write. To each of the negatives that I experienced Kirsten has an affrimation.
Negative: Having been made fun of in the seventh-grade for having the highest grade on a writing assignment. Affirmation: “I deserve to write what I love regardless of what others think.”
Negative: In college the grade on the assignment was lower because I didn’t follow what others wrote. Affirmation: “My work is original because I’m the one writing it.”
Negative: when I shared with some ladies friends about a book I had started writing, they told me not to bother because there was a book on that subject which nothing I could write would outdo that book. Affirmation: “Every story, including my own. has an audience.”
If this book can help me with my three biggest hang-ups in writing I know it can help you too.
Beginning January 6, 2020, I will be doing something that I have not done before. Through the years I have seen bloggers having a word for the year. Last week in the middle of the night God revealed to me an amazing plan. I thought it was for something else. He kept pushing it on my heart until I could no longer ignore Him.
The word for 2020, is GRACE. It is not just the word but the acronym. Over the years I have heard grace defined as — God’s Riches At Christ Expense. Next year we will be unlocking the riches of God’s grace and those in the Bible who experience those riches each month. We will look at the Hebrew and Greek meaning of each treasuer and applying it to our lives.
Looking forward to seeing what God has for us in 2020.
If you are looking for a Bible study to start your new year with, you can’t go wrong with the story of Ruth. I have been in love with this story since I was a little girl. She gave up everything to return with Naomi to Bethlehem.
Jared C. Wilson has done and excellent job in writing this Bible study. You can do it on your own or in a group as an eight-week study. Each study is broken down into three sections – Big Idea, Discussion, and Exercise.
Big Idea – Covers the main focus of each lesson.
Article – Each article gives insight to what was going on historically at the time, how it fits into the Bible, and the differing point-of-views of all involved. Also includes a discussion set up for group study. Because, I did it on my own I took and used it to assist in journaling about it.
Exercise – Causes you to dig deeper into the Bible and how what is going on in the book of Ruth can be applied to your life.
In the back of the book are Leader Notes, if you are doing this on your own don’t skip these as they will enchance each lesson.
I received a copy of this book for my honest review.
You might think it is late to be going on with the Christmas story, but it isn’t. The wise men were late too they were not there for the first Christmas, but came two years later. They followed the star for two years before they got to Bethlehem.
So let’s look at the thier journey. Write down what you find in how they shined.
Monday – Matthew 2:1-2
Tuesday – Matthew 2:3-5
Wednesday – Matthew 2:6, What does it say about Jesus?
Thursday – Matthew 2:7-8
Friday – Matthew 2:9-10
Saturday – Matthew 2:11-12
Lord, may we learn from the wise men what is most important to You. Amen
Why the shepherds? It would be the homless comminity if it were to happen today. The despised, looked down upon, thiefs, those that society has considered to be worthless. These are the ones God chose to tell first about the birth of his Son. Of course the place of his birth was a place the shepherd were familure with. They didn’t need a map of the city to find 1 King David Street. The shepherds were famailure with the stable because they had used it many times for their sheep with lambs. And now the Lamb of God was there.
The shepherds didn’t wait until dawn or until the census was over and there would be less people to deal with, they went imediately after Harold and the Angles did their concert. They found Mary and the baby just as the angel said. Once they worshipped the baby they told everyone they came in contact with what happened and what they saw. Shepherds who were not allow to worship in the temple, because they were consider unclean, became the first witness of the newborn Son of God, the King of the Jews, laying in the manger.
This Christmas may Linus remind us of what the true meaning os Christmas is and react as the shepherds did to the news.