But you, O Lord, are a Shield about me, my Glory, and the Lifter of my head. Psalm 3:3
Do you recall a time when someone you loved, someone you looked up to, someone you adored, took your lowered head and gently raised your chin with their hand, their fingertips? You may have been a child, a teen, or an adult. Your lip may have been quivering, a tear running down your cheek. That person lifted your head until your eyes met theirs. You saw their loving eyes and sensed the caring they had towards you. Your heart was touched by this one’s protection, reassurance, and love for you, for just you at that very moment. Slow down and remember such a moment, such a person as this. Ponder the memory. Sense the moment right now.
God, our Father, feels this way about us…even more so.
God is my Shield. He encircles me with His strength, His power, and His might. He defends and protects me in ways I cannot even know.
He is my steadfast love and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield and He in Whom I take refuge, who subdues my people under me. Psalm 144:2
God is majestic. He deserves reverential love and awe as I kneel before Him.
On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God. Psalm 62:7
He lifts me up high. And as I stand with Him, let nothing in the world pull me down. He sent His Son to die for me and nailed my sins to that cross. I do not want to be ashamed, but to stand strong in the LORD.
What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. Philippians 1:18-20
Lifting my head is looking up and seeing the Father’s glory, His reflection, His love. His touch is gentle and kind. He created me and knows my potential. He lifts me up. Confidence is being built in me through Him.
Lifting my head helps me to see beyond my circumstances. My head is higher than anything that is not of God. None of that can control me when my head is lifted.
He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. Psalm 40:2
I can see above to the heavenly realm. I can know that God, my Father, lights the skies for my way as I follow Him. Fears are released and given no power for the LORD is the power.
“Then He said to them, “What man is there among you who has one sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not lay hold of it and lift it out?” Matthew 12:11
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you. James 4:10
LORD, I pray that each of us seek You, the Lifter of our heads, our Salvation. You call us to come before You in thanksgiving and praise. We bow before the cross, asking for forgiveness, knowing that You have already poured Your grace upon us. Abba Father, thank You for giving us vision to see beyond our current point in this life, past the pain and suffering, whether of ourselves or of those we love or of others in this world. You know all and You call us to Your side, lifting us from the miry clay. With gratitude for being the Lifter of my head, I pray in the Name of Jesus. Thank You, Sweet LORD. Amen.
Some 21+ years ago, I published a similar post on Being Woven. Originally, it was for an online devotional called “Granola Bar Devotionals.”Alisa Hope Wagner, also at enLIVEn Devotionals, the author and gatherer of writings of others, has gone on to write many books, inspiring other women to continue writing in new venues.
Find a quiet moment to read…sing…hum as you read…this beautiful hymn written in the 19th century. It is the Salvation message. It is of our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ. Our Messiah.
O Little Town of Bethlehem
O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie! Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by. Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting Light; The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.
For Christ is born of Mary, and gathered all above, While mortals sleep, the angels keep their watch of wond’ring love. O morning stars, together proclaim the holy birth, And praises sing to God the King, and peace to men on earth!
How silently, how silently, the wondrous Gift is giv’n; So God imparts to human hearts the blessings of His Heav’n. No ear may hear His coming, but in this world of sin, Where meek souls will receive Him still, the dear Christ enters in.
Where children pure and happy pray to the blessed Child, Where misery cries out to Thee, Son of the mother mild; Where charity stands watching and faith holds wide the door, The dark night wakes, the glory breaks, and Christmas comes once more.
O holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray; Cast out our sin, and enter in, be born in us today. We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell; Oh, come to us, abide with us, our Lord Emmanuel.
May we spend time this Christmas Day to be with You, Lord Jesus. May we be still and know that You are God. May we calm our spirit to see and hear You in all we are and do. May this day, this season, be filled to overflowing with You, our Messiah.
You mean so very much to me, Lord.
I thank You for coming into my life and saving me from myself, from my sin. You adorn me with Yourself and continue to grow me as I decrease so that I can be more and more like You. I come before You this day and know that You are my Lord. In Your beautiful and holy Name, I pray. Amen.
History of song:“Phillips Brooks (1835-1893) wrote this beloved Christmas hymn for the Sunday school children at his Philadelphia parish, Holy Trinity Church, following a pilgrimage to Bethlehem in 1865, according to British hymnologist J. R. Watson. The hymn was printed on an informal leaflet in December 1868 and then appeared in The Sunday School Hymnal in 1871. In the United States, the hymn is generally sung to its original tune, ST. LOUIS by Louis H. Redner (1831-1908), a wealthy real estate broker who served as a church organist for his avocation.”
peace … come: photo of Yosemite in winter from wallup.net; + graphic/’peace …come” added by ~ linda @ pixlr
“For Who is God, but the LORD? And Who is a rock, except our God?” 2 Samuel 22:32
He is my God, and He Alone is my everything. Trusting in Him is the way I must turn, the way I want to turn, although I am not always faithful to do so. I do want to turn to Him alone. And, oh, when I try to go things alone I get lost, confused, independent, defeated, and scorned sometimes. But my heart’s desire is to find my God and know Him as He is. I want to seek His Name(s) and know He is my everything in all of my situations, in all of my ways, in all of my deeds. I want to praise Him for He is God. He is my God.
Worthy to be praised! Hallelujah! and Amen!
David wrote this psalm, recorded in 2 Samuel 22. Matthew Henry, from his Commentary on 2 Samuel 22 with: “This chapter is a psalm, a psalm of praise; we find it afterwards inserted among David’s psalms (Psalm 18) with some little variation. We have it here as it was first composed for his own closet and his own harp; but there we have it as it was afterwards delivered to the chief musician for the service of the church, a second edition with some amendments; for, though it was calculated primarily for David’s case, yet it might indifferently serve the devotion of others, in giving thanks for their deliverances; or it was intended that his people should thus join with him in his thanksgivings, because, being a public person, his deliverances were to be accounted public blessings and called for public acknowledgments.“
David, in his closet, his cave, most likely near the battlefield, writes these beautiful and strong words. How blessed we are to be able to praise God using these words as they pertain to our lives in the ways God means them to be used in our very lives. We have enemies whether on earth or in the air. We have troubles and mis-steps in our lives. We need to focus on the One Who rescues us, holds us, provides for us, takes the burdens from us.
And David spoke to the LORD the words of this song on the day when the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. 2 Samuel 22:1
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, the servant of the LORD, who addressed the words of this song to the LORD on the day when the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. He said: I love you, O LORD, my strength. Psalm 18:1
He said, “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge, my savior; you save me from violence. 2 Samuel 22:2-3
And later in 2 Samuel, David praised the Lord again with similar words:
“The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be my God, the rock of my salvation,… 2 Samuel 22:47
This God—his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him. 2 Samuel 22:31
This God is my strong refuge and has made my way blameless. 2 Samuel 22:33
Psalm 18 has these beautiful descriptions of David’s God, our God:
The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Psalm 18:2
“In my distress I called upon the LORD; to my God I called. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry came to his ears. 2 Samuel 22:7
In my distress I called upon the LORD; to my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears. Psalm 18:6
I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies. 2 Samuel 22:4
I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies. 18:3
He brought me out into a broad place; he rescued me, because he delighted in me. 2 Samuel 2:20
He brought me out into a broad place; he rescued me, because he delighted in me. Psalm 18:19
For you are my lamp, O LORD, and my God lightens my darkness. 2 Samuel 22:29
For it is you who light my lamp; the LORD my God lightens my darkness. Psalm 18:28
This God—his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him. 2 Samuel 22:31
This God—his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him. Psalm 18:30
“The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be my God, the rock of my salvation,…” 2 Samuel 22:47
The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be the God of my salvation— Psalm 18:46
From “Treasury of David”on Psalm 18 by C. H. Spurgeon:
“We have another form of this Psalm, with significant variations (2 Samuel 22), and this suggests the idea that it was sung by David at different times when he reviewed his own remarkable history, and observed the gracious hand of God in it all. Like Addison’s hymn beginning, “When all thy mercies, O my God,” this Psalm is the song of a grateful heart overwhelmed with a retrospect of the manifold and marvellous mercies of God. We will call it THE GRATEFUL RETROSPECT. The title deserves attention. David, although at this time a king, calls himself, “the servant of Jehovah,” but makes no mention of his royalty; hence we gather that he counted it a higher honour to be the Lord’s servant than to be Judah’s king. Right wisely did he judge. Being possessed of poetic genius, he served the Lord by composing this Psalm for the use of the Lord’s house; and it is no mean work to conduct or to improve that delightful part of divine worship, the singing of the Lord’s praises. Would that more musical and poetical ability were consecrated, and that our chief musicians were fit to be trusted with devout and spiritual psalmody. It should be observed that the words of this song were not composed with the view of gratifying the taste of men, but were spoken unto Jehovah. It were well if we had a more single eye to the honour of the Lord in our singing, and in all other hallowed exercises. That praise is little worth which is not directed solely and heartily to the Lord. David might well be thus direct in his gratitude, for he owed all to his God, and in the day of his deliverance he had none to thank but the Lord, whose right hand had preserved him. We too should feel that to God and God alone we owe the greatest debt of honour and thanksgiving.
“If it be remembered that the second (third) and the forty-ninth (fiftieth) verses are both quoted in the New Testament (Hebrews 2:13/2 Samuel 22:3; Romans 15:9/2 Samuel 22:50) as the words of the Lord Jesus, it will be clear that a greater than David is here. Reader, you will not need our aid in this respect; if you know Jesus you will readily find him in his sorrows, deliverance, and triumphs all through this wonderful psalm.“
“For this I will praise you, O LORD, among the nations, and sing praises to your name. Great salvation he brings to his king, and shows steadfast love to his anointed, to David and his offspring forever.” 2 Samuel 22:50-51
For this I will praise you, O LORD, among the nations, and sing to your name. Great salvation he brings to his king, and shows steadfast love to his anointed, to David and his offspring forever. Psalm 18:49-50
Just this very day, Sunday, July 25, 2021, Pastor Danny preached from Mark 4:35-41, “Who Then Is This?” As I planned to finish up this post later today, I was drawn to Mark 4:41 –
And they were filled with great fear (awe/reverence) and said to one another, “Who then is This, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?” Mark 4:41
Who then is This? … For Who is God? … God truly had powerful lessons for me this week through His Word.
Oh, that I would spend more time in It. Guide me, O Lord.
We sang this song in church…”Behold Our God“ twice this morning…during the music portion in the beginning of church and then as our final song. I have been singing it throughout the afternoon…praising my Lord.
The Bellevue Baptist Church (Cordova & Memphis, TN) choir/church is one of my favorite recordings of it. As I sang it from home this morning, I lifted my hands in praise and belted it out as though I have a fine voice. Only between God and me…(and Bonnie Girl, the cat), God knows the voice He created in me and He loves it when I worship and praise Him!
I delight in You, O Lord, and bow at Your feet. Blessed be the Lord for You are my Strength, my Refuge, my Rock and my Sword. Your Word is Truth and Power for and to me. Your beauty is magnificent. Your peace is the quiet in the storm, the rain on the roof, the shade of purple in a Lavender plant. Your Light is bright, a Lamp forever for all to see. I pray that I may be a light in this dark world. Your gentleness and kindness flow from the sweet words of friends, their acceptance of who I am as Your creation for, somehow, they see me through Your eyes. The Glory of the Lord is that which I sing from the mountaintops and from the valleys. You are my All in all. Hallelujah to my God on High. You are my King, my Salvation, my Love, my Husband, my Savior and my Lord. I thank you for giving me the ability to praise You, sweet and precious Lord. Thank You for raining Your mercy upon me, for opening my eyes and ears to Your saving grace. You are my God. You reign in my heart, in my life. Hallelujah! Behold, You are my God. I pray all in Your Son’s Holy Name. Amen.
…that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and may share His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Phil 3:10-11
1.a raising up, rising (e. g. from a seat) 2.a rising from the dead a. that of Christ b. that of all men at the end of the present age c. the resurrection of certain in ancient Jewish story who were restored to life before burial
What do these have to do with me? EVERYTHING!!
Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” John 3:3-8
I am born again…as of July 17, 1993. I was born once of my parents, of water. I was born a second time by the Spirit of God. No, I did not know how that happened but it did because God sent His Spirit to me when I was seeking Him, when I was asking about Him and knocking on the door for Him. I nailed my sins to the cross with Jesus. Yes, I will live as a human being until God takes me Home, whenever that may be. I am growing in the Lord every day, I pray (I am being sanctified). I want to shine His light into this dark world through the Holy Spirit living within me. I want to walk in obedience to Christ. I read the Word of God and get to know my Creator, my Refuge, my Shepherd, my Redeemer, my Savior and Lord. The cross is where I kneeled before Him, asking for forgiveness for all my guilty sins. He forgave me, and calls me His own. I see the empty grave and know that He is with His Father in Heaven. He has risen from the grave. He is resurrected. One day, because I am His, I, too, will be resurrected to live in Heaven with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. I am forever grateful.
I am forever connected to the Cross and the Resurrection!!
Easter is today. For me, these past couple of years, I have called this day Resurrection Sunday instead of Easter Sunday. My church uses that word as the name of what I have always called Easter. It has not only become a new name for this Sunday, but it is what Jesus did for me, for you, upon the Cross. It is what Jesus did from the grave…He rose alive. These Truths have taken on a far deeper meaning for me with each passing year. Jesus rose from the grave three days after His death on the Cross, never to die again.
Friday, we celebrated Good Friday. Jesus died on that Friday over 2,000 years ago. It was a horrific death nailed, hands and feet, to a cross. It was a way of execution, capital punishment. “Crucifixion was most frequently used to punish political or religious agitators, pirates, slaves, or those who had no civil rights. In 519 BCE Darius I, king of Persia, crucified 3,000 political opponents in Babylon; in 88 BCE Alexander Jannaeus, the Judaean king and high priest, crucified 800 Pharisaic opponents; and about 32 CE Pontius Pilate had Jesus of Nazareth put to death by crucifixion.” *
So this form of death had been around and used for a long time: “Crucifixion, an important method of capital punishment particularly among the Persians, Seleucids, Carthaginians, and Romans from about the 6th century BCE to the 4th century CE. Constantine the Great, the first Christian emperor, abolished it in the Roman Empire in the early 4th century CE out of veneration for Jesus Christ, the most famous victim of crucifixion.” *
So why do we call crucifixion Friday “good?” It is an awful way of death. Humiliation was a large part of crucifixions: the person was naked, flogged/scourged to the point of severe bleeding; yelling and screaming at the victim took place as well. There was usually a procession to the place of crucifixion (in Roman times, it was led by the Roman Guard, headed by a centurion). This brutal method of capital punishment was a very public “ceremony” in order to place fear in others, to deter criminals from breaking Roman laws.
“For Christians, Good Friday is a crucial day of the year because it celebrates what we believe to be the most pivotal day in the history of the world. On Good Friday, Jesus willingly suffered and died by crucifixion as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. … It’s called Good Friday because, by Jesus’ death, he became the final, complete sacrifice for our sins. We couldn’t have erased our sins. Our hands would have been forever stained with every single sin for a lifetime. But Jesus broke the bonds of death and sin!” **
If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. 1 John 1:10
Jesus bore the Cross for me, for you, that we would receive mercy and grace for our sins. We can choose to seek His face, asking for forgiveness of those sins. We can choose to acknowledge Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior for He saved us from eternal damnation in hell with the evil one, satan. By dying in our place on that Cross, a place where we should have hung, He died once for us each and all. By choosing Jesus, we also agree, wholeheartedly, that He arose from the dead to live again and forever. He returned to His rightful place at the right side of His Father, our Father God, to live forever in Heaven. We choose Him and we choose life…Eternal life with Jesus in the heavenly places. Oh, I pray this is your choice.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen Him, you love Him. Though you do not now see Him, you believe in Him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:3-9
Charles H. Spurgeon preached many a sermon on the resurrection of the Christ. This is from one of those:
Once more–the resurrection of Christ is operating at this present time with a quickening power on all who hear the Word aright. The sun is, to the vegetable world, a great source of growth. In this month of April he goes forth with life in his beams and we see the result. The buds are bursting, the trees are putting on their summer dress, the flowers are smiling and even the seeds which we buried in the earth are beginning to feel the vivifying warmth. They see not the lord of day but they feel his smile. Over what an enormous territory is the returning sun continually operating! How potent are his forces when he crosses the line and lengthens the day!
Such is the risen Christ. In the grave He was like the sun in His winter solstice but He crossed the line in His resurrection. He has brought us all the hopes of Spring and is bringing us the joys of Summer. He is quickening many at this hour and will yet quicken myriads. This is the power with which the missionary goes forth to sow. This is the power in which the preacher at home continues to scatter the seed. The risen Christ is the great Producer of harvests. By the power of His resurrection men are raised from their death in sin to eternal life.***
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to Him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, Who is coming into the world.” John 11:25-27
I rejoice in the resurrection of You, my Christ. You died on my behalf and You live this very day with God, our Father. I will, one day, be with You. Yes, Lord, I will have trials and will suffer, but nothing compared to the suffering that You endured for me…on that cross and in the grave. But You rose from death and, now, will live for always. I will die one day on earth, but You will raise me up to be with You forever and ever. If You return before I die, I will then live forever with You. Whether in Heaven with You or on earth alive, I desire to worship, praise, honor, glorify, and love You. I desire to shine Your light of salvation and be a harbor of Your love wherever I am. I love You so much. I am truly blessed to be one of your sheep. In Your Holy and Resurrected Name, I pray. Amen.
And He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, … Acts 17:26
And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings,… NKJV
He made also of one blood every nation of men, to dwell upon all the face of the earth — having ordained times before appointed, and the bounds of their dwellings — YLT
From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. NIV
We have been created from one man, from one blood. All nations, all people were created by the God of the universe.
So Godcreated man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Genesis 1:27
God created each and every one of us. God created us in HIS IMAGE. This is God’s powerful Truth. The color of our skin is a piece of this beautiful created human being.
Melanin has been placed in our epidermis, the outermost layer of our skin. It is a God-created phenomenon in becoming the many shades of skin that exist in human beings.
We are all humans. That is our one race. We are human beings = “Homo sapiens“= “man,” “earthly being” + “wise, sapient” (discerning, insightful, perceptive, prudent, sage, sagacious). Our skin tones may be different but we are one and the same race yet individuals in God’s eyes.
“We are all one race (“one blood” in Acts 17:26), the human race, descended from two ancestors, Adam and Eve. When we stand boldly and confidently on God’s Word, we can correctly understand the unity and diversity of the human race.” *
We are also loved equally and perfectly by the God of the universe.
May we see one another with this love which God has for us.
And He called us to love one another.
Jesus said: A new commandment I give to you, that you loveone another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love oneanother. John 13:34
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and His love is perfected in us. 1 John 4:11-12
We love because He first lovedus. 1 John 4:19
As I draw near to God, Your love pours into me. Father God, please keep pouring Your love into me so that I may love as You do, as You call me to do. I love You, LORD. May I grow in Your Love as I seek to be more and more like You. You created me in Your image. I want to become the one whom You created me to be. Then I can stand for and with every human being on this earth because You created each one for Your Glory, LORD. May I stand up for the many George Floyd’s of this world, no matter what color their skin tone may be. We are all and each equal in Your sight.
The many who are taking to the streets of this world for the good of humanity, I pray they know You as their Lord and Savior. For those who do not …YET… I pray…
I pray, Father, that this all may be true for all. I give You all the glory for all that may be. Amen.
…that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward Him and find Him. Yet He is actually not far from each one of us,… Acts 7:27
At this time of turmoil, let there be togetherness.
At this time of descent, let there be ascent.
At this time of hurt, let there be healing.
At this time of anger, let there be forbearance.
At this time of hatred, let there be love.
For such a time as this, may we see You, the One Who is Almighty God, our Fortress, our Salvation.
Thank You so, Dearest God. I love You dearly.
… from the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint. Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I, for You have been my Refuge, a Strong Tower against the enemy. Psalm 61:2-3
May our eyes be colorblind if they see differences in skin tones. May the eyes of our hearts see through the eyes of God for He is not colorblind, for He made us all. He loves us all. I love You, Lord. So much. Guide us. Keep us accountable to You and keep us from harming anyone else, from speaking words that hurt another. Keep us close that we will look to You for every answer to every question we have. Remind us that You loved us first as we face each new moment. I love you, Father.
*Quote: https://answersingenesis.org/racism/one-race/ by Dr. Georgia Purdom who holds a PhD in molecular genetics from The Ohio State University. She formerly served as an assistant and associate professor of biology at Mt. Vernon Nazarene University. Dr. Purdom is the director of Educational Content and actively speaks and writes for “Answers in Genesis.”
… Veiled in flesh the Godhead see; hail th’ incarnate Deity, pleased as man with man to dwell, Jesus, our Emmanuel. Hark! the herald angels sing, “Glory to the new born King!” **
As we sang “Hark! the Herald Angels Sing,” tears welled up in my eyes.
Christ Jesus “veiled” a fleshly robe, becoming man and dwelt among us. I got a beautiful picture draped across my heart and eyes of Jesus being veiled in flesh. This is incredible even though I know He came and I know He was a man for thirty-three years, God for always. I believe this, having come to know Christ as my Savior and Lord. I have faith in this One Who left the Father to dwell with us. Yet, the thought of the Christ being veiled with flesh dropped me to my knees. It was so much more than the Baby in a manger. Christ came to save one such as I. Christ came to draw me to Him. Christ came to be with me. Thus my tears.
Emmanuel (Immanuel) is God with us. Jesus is Yahweh saves or the Lord is salvation.
“She will bear a son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call His name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). Matthew 1:21-23
The Prophet Isaiah: Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14
So beautiful! ‘Tis no wonder that I cry. God came to save me. He rained His grace and mercy upon me forever and ever long before I was ever born, created in my mother’s womb.
For 26 + years now, He has been reigning in my heart. He lived on earth, veiled in flesh, so that I may truly live. Hallelujah, what a Savior!
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14
Christ came, veiled in flesh, but He died in that same flesh, torn and bruised, bleeding and broken, for this same me.
Now the men who were holding Jesus in custody were mocking him as they beat him. Luke 22:63
As many were astonished at You— His appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and His form beyond that of the children of mankind— Isaiah 52:14
According to Josephus, cruxifixction was brutal, an awful way to die. Christ died this way. He did this for me, for you, for each of us. I am sorry, Jesus. Forgiven, I am but I still weep for what I did to You.
Had He not adorned flesh, could or would it have been different?
The plan was in its perfect place and robing Yourself in flesh was what was needed to save us from this sin. Thank You, Lord Jesus. Thank You for Who You are and for what You did. May this life I live adorn You with glory and honor and praise. I love You, my Lord Jesus. In Your Name, I pray. Amen.
Published 1739 in the collection Hymns and Sacred Poems.
The lyrics was changed by George Whitefield (1714 – 1770) and others, resulting in the version known today.
Original first line: “Hark how all the Welkin rings”.
Music by Felix Mendelssohn (1809 – 1847).
Mendelssohn’s tune was adapted by William H. Cummings (1831 – 1915) in 1855 to fit the lyrics.
Last photo: Faith Church Blog/Lafayette
Sing unto the Lord this whole beautiful song: Hark! The Herald Angels Sing:
Hark! the herald angels sing, “Glory to the new born King, peace on earth, and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled!” Joyful, all ye nations rise, join the triumph of the skies; with th’ angelic host proclaim, “Christ is born in Bethlehem!” Hark! the herald angels sing, “Glory to the new born King!”
Christ, by highest heaven adored; Christ, the everlasting Lord; late in time behold him come, offspring of a virgin’s womb. Veiled in flesh the Godhead see; hail th’ incarnate Deity, pleased as man with man to dwell, Jesus, our Emmanuel. Hark! the herald angels sing, “Glory to the new born King!”
Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace! Hail the Sun of Righteousness! Light and life to all he brings, risen with healing in his wings. Mild he lays his glory by, born that man no more may die, born to raise the sons of earth, born to give us second birth. Hark! the herald angels sing, “Glory to the new born King!”
Come, Desire of nations, come, fix in us thy humble home; rise, the woman’s conquering Seed, bruise in us the serpent’s head. Adam’s likeness, Lord, efface; stamp thine image in its place. Second Adam from above, Reinstate us in thy love. Hark! the herald angels sing, “Glory to the new born King!”
Adam’s likeness, Lord, efface, Stamp Thine image in its place: Second Adam from above, Reinstate us in Thy love. Let us Thee, though lost, regain, Thee, the Life, the inner man: O, to all Thyself impart, Formed in each believing heart. Hark! the herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King!”
“… and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”Luke 1:17 ESV
Many versions read:
“… so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” NASB
“… to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” NKJV, NIV
… placing “the Lord” at the end.
But many other translations read:
“… to make ready for the Lord a prepared people.” CSB, DBY
“… to make ready for the Lord, a people prepared.” YLT
Whichever way the Bible reads, I have been looking closely at the two phrases in this small portion of Luke 1:17.
“…, to make ready …”
STRONGS NT 2090
to prepare:—prepare, provide, make ready (G2090 refers to internal fitness)
STRONGS NT 2680
to prepare thoroughly (properly, by external equipment; whereas G2090 refers rather to internal fitness); by implication, to construct, create:—build, make, ordain, prepare
to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”Luke 1:17 ESV
In reading this verse, my first thought was that both “make ready” and “prepare” meant the same thing and they do in a general sense. Where the divide comes is when the definitions distinguish between external and internal preparedness.
The external layer of a person is prepared:
John the Baptist was sent by God to turn hearts to see their sins, be grieved over them, come to repentance and be baptized in preparation for the coming of Jesus. Each one to repent can be prepared through this process of repentance. We will be convicted and cleansed. Through this conviction and repentance, we are being prepared.
Then, the internal person must be made ready to meet the Lord:
Because of the initial preparation, our hearts and minds are open and welcoming towards the Lord Jesus. Our souls will find joy and comfort as we hear the gospel even as we are challenged and confronted by the Truth. We are being transformed in the process and come to know His grace and are able to receive His mercy. As we walk in obedience to His Word and His will we are being made ready for His coming.
I recall so clearly the moment when I repented of my sins. I grieved over the many times I hurt God by my actions and words. I was being prepared for I wanted to be right with Jesus. I asked Him to be my Lord and Savior. From that very moment, I knew that things changed inside of me. I received a grace that I had never known. I was washed clean and then washed clean again… hundreds or thousands of times since. Each time, I have grown deeper in my walk with Jesus. I was made ready in my admission of my sinful ways. I was then able to accept my salvation in Christ by faith. I am continually made ready as I read God’s Word, as I pray, as I learn to walk closely to my Savior.
M. Henry says in his Commentary, We must be prepared by grace in this world for the glory in the other, by the terrors of the law for the comforts of the gospel, by the spirit of bondage for the Spirit of adoption.
The bud is made ready to become a blossom from the inside-out. The blossom is prepared to glorify the Lord with its outward beauty.
Am I ever done being made ready while here on earth? I have met my Savior by faith. One day, when I meet Him in the clouds, will I no longer need to made ready? I believe not! Christ is so beautiful to me now. I desire that He would be all I need while here on earth, but I must admit that things of this world do draw me in. I wish that were not true, but it is. As I age, I can say that things of this world are less and less important and I do have more peace. I pray that He will be all I need or want on the other side. Hallelujah!!!
Heavenly Father, I thank You again, knowing that when I called out asking for Your forgiveness for the many ways in which I wandered aimlessly, sinfully, and disrespectfully towards You, Your immediate forgiveness of me rained peace upon this woman. I am so grateful, Father. I became prepared. As I began to understand You and Your Son and the Holy Spirit, I was made ready to receive Your Son as my Lord and Savior. The Holy Spirit has come to dwell in me and continues to grow me in Your Word, in grace, and in love. I am just overwhelmed by Your love and hope and peace…gifts only You can give me. Oh my! I am filled with a welling up inside of me. You are my All in all. Your Son is precious to me and I pray in His Holy Name. Amen.
Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to Me.If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.”This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying,
“Say to the daughter of Zion,
‘Behold, your king is coming to you,
humble, and mounted on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’” **
The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and He sat on them. Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before Him and that followed Him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” And when He entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.”Matthew 21:1-11
Jesus knew His time was near. He knew the Scriptures filled with prophecies about Him. He knew.
A beast of burden is a draught (draft) animal that carries or pulls heavy loads, such as a donkey, mule, llama, camel, or ox. It can also be any domesticated animal trained to perform tasks for humans, such as a herding dog or a trained falcon. Often, the animal will be under a yoke, teamed up with one or more of the same kinds of animals.
Jesus came into Jerusalem on a donkey, as per the prophecy in Isaiah 62:11. The donkey, the beast of burden, carried the One Who would be carrying our burden of sin to the Cross. Jesus came that we might be saved. Jesus came that we be made white as snow, cleansed of our sins, for the Father.
“Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.” Isaiah 1:18
Jesus calls us to follow Him and bear our crosses. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.Luke 14:27
Yet He is there by our side to carry the load with us. “Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”Matthew 11:29-30
Cast your burden on the LORD, and He will sustain you; He will never permit the righteous to be moved.Psalm 55:22
He wants our dependence, our submission, our obedience.
All God’s plans have the mark of the cross on them, and all His plans have death to self in them. —E. M Bounds
We, as Christians, are called to help one another as He helps us. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.Galatians 6:2
As we approach Palm Sunday, may our hearts turn to the One Who came to this earth to save us from ourselves. May we look to the One Who carried our sins to the Cross, cleansed us wholly, that we could be His.
“It is to the Cross that the Christian is challenged to follow his Master: no path of redemption can make a detour around it.”― Hans Urs von Balthasar, Unless You Become Like This Child
I have received the most beautiful gift, Father, for which I am ever so grateful. May I never look upon a “burden” as being too much for me. May I see Jesus yoked with me in all that I am called to do and to be. May I remember Who the Holy One is Who used a beast of burden to ride into Jerusalem, but became the One Who carried all of the burdens to the Cross where He died a terrible crucifixion, yet He did this for me. I praise You, LORD. Hosanna, in the Highest. Hosanna, oh save, I pray. “Praise God and his Messiah, we are saved.” Hallelujah. I rejoice in the Holy One. You are my salvation, LORD Jesus. You knew and you know, LORD Jesus. You know me, Jesus. Praise Your Holy Name. In the Glorious Name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.
Christmas coming … Oh! to breathe the air of God as He comes to us as a child, as Immanuel, as the breath of Heaven, as the Way, the Truth, the Life.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.John 1:1
The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.John 1:9
Oh, to be sensitive and anticipatingChristmas coming!
Mary heard and knew Christmas coming:
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. …”Luke 1:26-27
And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call His name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”Luke 1:31-33
And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be bornwill be called holy—the Son of God.”Luke 1:35
Mary honored Christmas coming: And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.Luke 1:38
Joseph became aware of and honored his vows forChristmas coming:
… an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”Matthew 1:20b-21
When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called His name Jesus.Matthew 1:24-25
Elizabeth feltChristmas coming:
And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! Luke 1:41-42
John recognizedChristmas coming…from the womb:
…the baby leaped in her womb. Luke 1:41
Zacharias prophesied Christmas coming:
“And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare His ways,
to give knowledge of salvation to His people in the forgiveness of their sins,
because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit usfrom on high
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”Luke 1:76-79
The shepherds saw, heard, and believed Christmas coming:
And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” Luke 2:9-12
The angels rejoiced forChristmas coming:
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased!”Luke 2:13
Simeon awaited Christmas coming:
And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.Luke 2:26
“Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen Your Salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to Your people Israel.”Luke 2:29-32
And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”Luke 2:34-35
Anna, the prophetess waited, was sensitive to, and then praisedChristmas coming:
And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of Him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.Luke 2:38
The wise men sawChristmas coming:
“For we saw His star when it rose and have come to worship Him.”Matthew 2:2b
Prophets prophesiedChristmas coming:
Micah– But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.Micah 5:2
Ezekiel – And I will set up over them one Shepherd, My servant David, and He shall feed them: He shall feed them and be their Shepherd.Ezekiel 34:23
Hosea – “Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord; His going out is sure as the dawn; He will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.”Hosea 6:3
Isaiah– Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14
Thus says the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One, to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nation, the servant of rulers: “Kings shall see and arise; princes, and they shall prostrate themselves; because of the Lord, who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.”Isaiah49:7
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.Isaiah 9:6
in a manger over 2000 years ago
in the Word
in a cloud
in my heart each day
in the praises of His people
I see Christmas coming. Christmas comes in the Christ, directly to my heart as my LORD and Savior. He comes in the quiet of prayer. He comes in the darkness as the bright and shining Light. He comes in love and joy. He comes as the Word. He comes in a song. He comes every day, every moment of every day. Some I miss. Yet He comes and waits. I wait with anticipation and adoration. I feel Christmas comingfrom the inside-out. Truly remarkable moments! Thank You, Heavenly Father, for blessing us with Your One and Only Son. Thank You for opening the eyes of my heart to truly see Christmas coming. May I be sensitive to Christ coming, the Holy Spirit within me forever teaching me, praying for me, loving me. May we each take the time to ponder the Truth of Christmas. May we each treasure the beauty of Your gift to us. The Son of Righteousness has come to us, to me. He is the absolute expression of Your Love to us. He is our King. He is our Shepherd. He is our LORD. He is the innocence of the Babe in the manger. He is Birth in me, Rebirth in me. He is Forgiveness. He is Love. He is Salvation. I thank You, Father, for Your Son… for Christmas Coming. Amen and Amen. Selah…
Simeon was waiting for the Consoler, the Messiah. The Holy Spirit was upon him.
Oh, Father, I praise You for giving this man the testament of Your Holy Spirit. He knew Your will for his life and waited. Waited! He knew the gift that You were giving to this world in Your Son. He let the Holy Spirit lead him into the temple at that very moment. He knew. He waited. Hallelujah!
And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the Law, he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said, “Lord, now You are letting Your servant Greek bondservant depart in peace, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen Your salvationthat You have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to Your people Israel.”Luke 2:26-32
Simeon prayed. Simeon was so attuned to God that he believed that God was delivering His Messiah as promised to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles. He knew. He believed. He had read the Word and knew God’s promises.
Simeon called Jesus “Your salvation.” He is.
The Lord has bared His holy arm
before the eyes of all the nations,
and all the ends of the earth shall see
the salvation of our God.Isaiah 52:10
Simeon called Jesus “a light for revelation.” He is.
He says, “It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also make You a light of the nations So that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.” Isaiah 49:6
Simeon said Jesus was “for glory to Your people Israel.” He is (although not very many have seen Him…yet).
“In the LORD all the offspring of Israel shall be justified and shall glory.”Isaiah 45:25
The sun shall be no more your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give you light; but the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory.Isaiah 60:19
Father, I praise You. You have shown us Simeon in Your Word. He loved You and spent his days in prayer, seeking Your face. He came face-to-face with You, by Your Son, Christ Jesus, the Messiah, the Consoler. He knew that this Child was You. He knew because He walked with You and fed upon Your Word, upon You. Oh, LORD, I am so filled with gratitude that You showed me this about Simeon this week. May I seek Your face each and every day. May my walk be as You design it, and not in my way. May light shine upon me from the Sun of Righteousness, revealing Your Truth in and through me. I thank You, Abba Father, for the most beautiful Gift possible, Your Consolation to me. You have reminded me that I am to continue to be ‘expectant’ for You to show up in my life at any time, at all times. In His Name, I pray. Amen.
“‘…and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’”Luke 3:6