The Baby High Priest

Our High Priestwith love.png

Inspirational Thought of the Day:

Christ, our High Priest Who is higher than us, chose to become lowly like us to make atonement for all of our sins forever.

Scriptures of the Day:

Hebrews 8:1-6

1 “Now the main point of what we are saying is this: We have such a high priest, one who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, 2 a minister in the sanctuary and the true tabernacle that the Lord, not man, set up. 3 For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. So this one too had to have something to offer. 4 Now if he were on earth, he would not be a priest, since there are already priests who offer the gifts prescribed by the law. 5 The place where they serve is a sketch and shadow of the heavenly sanctuary, just as Moses was warned by God as he was about to complete the tabernacle. For he says, “See that you make everything according to the design shown to you on the mountain.” 6 But now Jesus has obtained a superior ministry, since the covenant that he mediates is also better and is enacted on better promises.”

Hebrews 5:10

“And by being perfected in this way, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, and he was designated by God as high priest in the order of Melchizedek.”

Hebrews 7:3

Without father, without mother, without genealogy, he has neither beginning of days nor end of life but is like the son of God, and he remains a priest for all time.

Psalm 110:4

4 The Lord makes this promise on oath and will not revoke it: “You are an eternal priest after the pattern of Melchizedek.” 

Yesterday I was thanking God that Christ is our mediator.  Today I reflect on the fact that He is not just a go-between – He is a high priest.  I love when something miraculous happens where there is no explanation.  There is a mystery surrounding this high priest who showed up out of nowhere, who was the high priest of God and to whom Abraham tithed to.  The fact that this name means “King of Righteousness” in Hebrew makes me smile.  Not only that, He is from Salem, which means peace.  Our Prince of peace made an appearance as high priest to the father of our faith, Abraham.  How amazing.  His next entrance as a priest would be as a baby.  Christ is our high priest who lives forever in the order of Melchizedek.

We do not just celebrate God coming in the flesh as our Savior, our Redeemer, our Deliverer, and our King.  He is our high priest.  He is able to make atonement for all of our sins and He forever intercedes for His sheep.  Many times in our lives we will have people come in and out of our lives.  If we are blessed to have some with us for most of our journey here on earth, we are blessed indeed (unless they are a thorn in our flesh, ha!)  But Jesus as our high priest forever means He didn’t just leave us when He left this earth.  He remains our pastor, caring for our souls – for all eternity!

He is forever faithful in His duties as our priest and never forsakes His children.  I am completely overcome with this reality. Christ coming as our high priest means we are never rejected, never without His leadership in our lives.  Never abandoned, always with Him.  Always.

Thank you, sweet Jesus, for being our everything!  I worship You, my high priest!

The Real Miracle of Christmas

christ-came-in-the-flesh-as-a-baby-and-christ-still-comes-today

Inspirational Thought of the Day:

Christ came in the flesh as a baby and Christ still comes today – manifest in our flesh as we yield our lives to Him.

Scriptures of the Day:

John 1:1-5

1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was fully God. 2 The Word was with God in the beginning. 3 All things were created by him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of mankind. 5 And the light shines on in the darkness, but the darkness has not mastered it.”

Hebrews 2:14

“Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death–that is, the devil.”

Movies abound today about the “magic” of Christmas.  Somewhere a child inside hopes it really is true that someone esoterically posing as Santa is the real deal.  Not so much.  But there is One Who really does know when we are sleeping and awake – One Who truly does provide for our needs and watches over us.  He certainly knows whether we have been good or bad and keeps a thorough record of it in His Book of Life.  Even more amazing, when we truly do deserve a boatload of lumps of coal, He gives us eternal life – freely.

But sometimes the miracle of Christmas can get lost in the simple fact that it is a well known story that has been told and retold and we forget just how amazing a reality the miracle of Christ’s birth is and what Christ accomplished in His birth.

Mankind was condemned to a fallen world, no thanks to Adam and Eve (well, we all would have done the same thing).  But right there in that moment, God knew we needed a Savior.

In His sovereignty He planned to come and Himself crush the head of our mortal enemy.  He did it as a baby.  Talk about the enemy being whipped.  

This baby was born miraculously, fulfilling prophecies, fulfilling perfectly the genealogy of Christ, born of a virgin.  A miracle indeed.  Holy.  Righteous.  Fully God and fully man.  How amazing.  Much more amazing to me than reindeer flying through the air – just sayin’. And this same Christ is now revealed through us, His people.

So if we are struggling to get that Christmas “spirit”, perhaps what we need is a healthy dose of the Holy Spirit.  Sometimes it is in the simplicity of stepping out of our ordinary routine to give that we have that “Christmas feeling”. How is God leading us now to give during this season? How can we help others around us? Christ modeled what it meant to serve by giving His all. May we do the same.

The miracle of Jesus is not confined to one day. We can search for opportunities to give and serve others not just when we feel celebratory or the calendar dictates the moment.  The miracle of Jesus lives on in the hearts of those who choose to accept Him.

Christ came in the flesh as a baby and Christ still comes today – manifest in our flesh as we yield our lives to Him.

What a miracle this is – Christ in us. When we operate in a manner just like our Father did – giving of Himself, we have the greatest joy, and it is a miracle indeed that He uses us at all.

Merry Christmas, all.  Be a part of the miracle in someone’s life this Christmas.

Lord, thank you for the miracle of Your birth.  I stand in awe of You.  Fill us with the wonder of what You did and Who You are.  Love you!

The Ruling Baby King

colorfulparties-co

Inspirational Thought of the Day:

Instead of conquering us and ruling over us ruthlessly, God conquered our hearts and saved us.

Scripture of the Day:

Isaiah 9: 6-7

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end.  He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.  The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.”

Don’t be fooled – this King baby will reign.  Despite the enemy’s attempts to destroy Him, God’s plan stood firm.  Despite a supposed defeat by ultimately being crucified, He rose from the dead and is coming again, only this time to reign.  For spectators of a movie, this story is difficult to watch – the injustice of the wicked seemingly destroying the Holy One and His plan; the Almighty God coming in perceived weakness.

The Jewish people were looking for their King to come and rule – now – not in the future. But God’s ways are not our ways. In His wisdom, God came as a babe so we could understand His salvation more than a God far away.  Instead of conquering us and ruling over us ruthlessly, He conquered our hearts and saved us.  He is our LORD, our Wonderful Counselor, to Whom we can come daily and moment by moment.  His rule is righteous and just.  His rule trumps every other ruler or government in this world.

In those moments when the wise men, shepherds and onlookers gazed upon God as a babe, how filled with wonder they must have been.  How humbled to see their Creator coming in such a form.  The most hardened heart was surely softened by such a gift.  May we have this same awe in reflecting on our Jesus, coming as a babe to rule our hearts.

Lord, You are all-wise, all-knowing, Almighty God!  Holy and humble, perfect One!  I worship You and thank You for ruling in my heart and opening my eyes to see.

Christmas Count “Up” Day 24: Jesus is coming! The Purpose of Traditions

Photo Credits goodjesuitbadjesuit.blogspot.com

Photo Credits
goodjesuitbadjesuit.blogspot.com

Isaiah 7:14

“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

1 Corinthians 11:2

“Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you.”

It is the night before Christmas and I am deep in thought and wonder.  This entire month I have reflected on what Christ’s birth meant and what He accomplished by coming in the flesh.  The culmination of this reflection ends tomorrow when we celebrate Christ’s birth.  Yet I feel I have barely scratched the surface.  I do not want to let another Christmas pass me by without being completely overcome by what our God did.

Traditions vary widely and each one represents something deeper than what is on the surface.  Often we can follow and adhere to traditions not knowing why we do.  There is a certain comfort in doing things which we have done before, even if we have forgotten why.  The original intent behind traditions has often been long forgotten or the initial meaning can become trivialized, yet we tend to cling to what is familiar.

Celebrations of Christian holidays, in particular, can lose their significance when secular ideologies come in, often with tantalizing counterfeits replacing the former tradition.  Tonight I attended a Moravian Christmas service; honestly, I had not heard of the Moravian faith and was surprised that it is said to be the first protestant denomination, emanating from a hundred years before Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-five Theses on the door of the church in Wittenberg.  I wondered as people anticipated each portion of the service, if the symbolism behind each aspect of the service was still known.  We can all have good feelings when a song is sung, or a candle is lit, but do we know the meaning behind the worship we are giving?

Although I am sure many of us have last minute items we must attend to, far greater than a perfectly planned Christmas, a superbly cooked meal, or a beautifully decorated home, is pausing to worship Jesus.  The repetition of a well-known poem can spark good cheer, but sometimes even better than tradition is a new verse penned.  In closing, here is a spur of the moment poem; may it cause us to worship God in Spirit and truth.

———

‘Twas the eve before Christmas and the world was unaware – That soon their God and Creator would be there.

Not as a King ruling from a throne, but ruling in our hearts as His home.

A crude welcome He received, but offered salvation for all who would believe.

His cooing pierced the air and filled his parents with wonder; the unfolding of God’s plan to put our sins asunder.

Miracle of miracles, God in the flesh came, to bear all our sins and take our shame.

The enemy of our souls sought to thwart His plan, but none could outsmart the Son of Man.

The world was blind and could not comprehend, this Promise of God that He did send –

Was the answer to our need, and God’s purpose as well; to restore us to Himself and keep us from Hell.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night – Your Savior has come, to bring you from darkness to light!

———

May you all sleep in peace and bask in the knowledge of God’s radical selfless love for you – He came for you and gave Himself to you.  No greater gift has been given – why not give Him ourselves, as well?

Lord, thank You so much for coming to earth that we might know You.  Help us to see how great this love is and to never cease to be in wonder and amazement at You.

Christmas Count”Up” Day 23 – Baby Jesus, our Covering

Romans 6:23

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Ephesians 1:7

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.”

Romans 4:7-8

7Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered8 blessed is the one against whom the Lord will never count sin.”

Romans 5:18-19

18 “Consequently, just as condemnation for all people came through one transgression, so too through the one righteous act came righteousness leading to life for all people. 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of one man many will be made righteous.”

Hebrews 2:17

17 “Therefore he was obligated in all things to be made like his brothers, that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make atonement for the sins of the people.”

I am quite sure if we committed a crime and were required to pay the penalty for that crime that we would not lay the burden of our sin debt on a baby.  It would seem so cruel.  The sacrifice of animals was sickening enough, but an innocent human life?  It still causes my stomach to churn when I think of an innocent lamb being slaughtered for someone else’s sin. It does not make sense to us because we are not fully acquainted with God’s standard of holiness.  How much more, then, would the death of a baby for someone else’s sin be considered tragic and heartless?

But our sin payment cannot be completely covered for all eternity by an animal or sinful man.  The death required should awaken us to see how very repulsive and wicked our sins are to God.  Sin destroys lives and separates us from God.  He required our sins to be eradicated, and the only means is by a perfect One, of which only God can meet that criteria.

Today we can stand in the presence of God because Christ covers us completely.  The loving compassion of our God, choosing to clothe us in His righteousness is beyond comprehension.  To Adam and Eve, guilty of sin in the Garden of Eden, God provided animal skins, symbolic of the need for a covering.  To the Israelites He specified a a system of animal sacrifices by which they would not be condemned for their sins.  He could not, in His righteousness, excuse sin, but He could Himself provide for a covering for His children.

Moms have big plans for their children.  I cannot fathom the anguish Mary felt when her son was killed ruthlessly.  But Our Savior, our Covering, Christ Jesus, was born to bear our sins – willingly.  That was not Mary’s plan, but it was God’s.  As I reflect on a baby born to bear my own iniquity, it serves as an impetus to help me refrain from costly sin, which cost my Savior His life.

Lord, thank You for giving Your own life for ours.  May we live a life worthy of Your sacrifice, all for Your glory.

Christmas Countdown Day 8: The King Baby Rules Our Hearts

Photo Credits hikeoflife.wordpress.com

Photo Credits
hikeoflife.wordpress.com

Isaiah 9: 6-7

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end.  He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.  The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.”

Don’t be fooled – this King baby will reign.  Despite the enemy’s attempts to destroy Him, His plan stood firm.  Despite a supposed defeat by ultimately being crucified, He rose from the dead and is coming again, only this time to reign.  For spectators of a movie, this story is difficult to watch.  The injustice of the wicked seemingly destroying the Holy One and His plan.  The Almighty God coming in perceived weakness.

The Jewish people were looking for their King to come and rule – now – not in the future.  But God’s ways are not our ways. In His wisdom, He accomplished in His coming as a babe more than He could as a God we feared.  Instead of conquering us and ruling over us ruthlessly, He conquered our hearts and saved us.  He is our LORD, our Wonderful Counselor, to Whom we can come daily and moment by moment.  His rule is righteous and just.  His rule trumps every other ruler or government in this world.

In those moments when the wise men, shepherds and onlookers gazed upon God as a babe, how filled with wonder they must have been.  How humbled to see their Creator coming in such a form.  The most hardened heart was surely softened by such a gift.  May we have this same awe in reflecting on our Jesus, coming as a babe to rule our hearts.

Lord, You are all-wise, all-knowing, Almighty God!  Holy and humble, perfect One!  I worship You and thank You for ruling in my heart and opening my eyes to see.