Tag Archives: Jesus

A Season of Joy: Jesus Christ is Born

Keep Christ at the center of your family’s Christmas celebration by reflecting on the birth of Jesus.

With Christmas quickly approaching, stress levels are at an all time high and to do lists are longer than ever. Keep your family focused on the reason for the season by reflecting on the birth of our Lord and Savior.

The Christmas Story: Luke 2:1-20 NLT

At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who was now obviously pregnant.

And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.

That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”

Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.

The great news from an angel of the Lord filled the shepherds living nearby with absolute joy. The most amazing event in history had happened — the Messiah had been born! With Jesus’ birth came hope for the entire world, hope we continue to believe in today. We encourage you to look toward Christ’s second coming with a joyful spirit and a hopeful heart.

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Jesus My Peace

Wendy Blight FEBRUARY 1, 2016

Jesus My Peace
WENDY BLIGHT

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27 (NIV)

A few years ago I found myself in one of those busy seasons of life. You know, the kind where your calendar is void of white space. Where you spend your days trying to balance the daily tasks that have to be done with the fun events that keep you a well-adjusted, delightful-to-be-with co-worker, girlfriend, wife and mom.

Mentally, I thought I was balancing it all well. I was reading my daily devotional and praying my neatly ordered list of prayers.

But my body said otherwise.

My spirit felt uneasy. Anxious.

My heart beat erratically.

These symptoms escalated with each passing day.

Night after night, I lay awake counting my heartbeats, faster and faster they came. Lack of sleep led to exhaustion. Exhaustion to withdrawal. I felt disconnected from everything around me.

One morning I stepped into the shower. Within moments, I struggled to breathe. Inexplicable panic ensued. I flung open the shower door, enveloped myself in a towel and collapsed on the tile floor. Tears poured uncontrollably.

What was happening to me? I felt as if my life … my faith… the very core of who I am was unraveling. I felt like a failure.

I mustered what little faith I could find and dropped to my knees. It was weak faith, but it was there. And that’s when I realized I needed more. More of Jesus. The One who is our Peace.

My sweet Savior met me right there on the carpet. He turned my eyes to my bedside table where my unopened Bible lay.

My heart ached as I made a startling realization. I had not opened that precious book in weeks. Sure, I had been reading my daily devotional. Reading what another woman had to say about the Bible. But I had not been in my Bible, listening for what Jesus — God Himself — had to say about His Word.

In fact, I had been spending very little time with Jesus. Not a single time did I simply take time to sit quietly with my Lord and Savior.

I crawled over to my precious Bible, cradled it in my hands and opened it. With each turn of the page, truths spilled into my empty, thirsty heart … truths to cling to … to pray … to quench my empty, thirsty heart. Truths I want to share today.

First, from the Old Testament:

“For to us a child is born … And he will be called … Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6a & c, NIV).

“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you” (Isaiah 26:3, NIV).

Then, from the New Testament, including our key verse, too:

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33, NIV).

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-8, NIV).

Jesus is our Prince of Peace, and His Peace is ours. It’s a fruit of God’s Spirit that lives and breathes in those of us who are children of God.

Believe it.

Claim it.

And the key to believing and claiming it? Personalizing and praying these truths. When we pray God’s living and active Word (see Hebrews 4:12), His Word comes alive in us. It infuses every part of our being.

So, how do we go about personalizing and praying God’s Word?

Here are a few of my prayers.

Thank You, Father, that You will keep me in perfect peace when my heart is steadfast, because I trust in You. (Isaiah 26:3)

Thank You, Father, that You fill me with Your Peace, not the world’s peace. It’s a gift from You. And thank You that when Your Peace consumes me, I need not be anxious, troubled or afraid. (John 14:26-27)

Father, thank You for the promise that if I will stop being anxious and give everything to You in prayer, Your Peace, the peace that transcends all understanding, will guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7) In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Psalm 4:7-8, “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety.” (NIV)

RELATED RESOURCES:
Save the date! Our in-depth Bible Study Class of Wendy Blight’s latest book, I Know His Name begins Monday, March 7. Click here for registration opens information.

Do you want to experience more of the Prince of Peace in your life? Stop by Wendy Blight’s blog and sign up for her FREE 5-day devotional for a sneak peek at her new book, I Know His Name: Discovering Power in the Names of God, and a chance to win a signed copy.

REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Invite the Prince of Peace to rule and reign in your heart today. Personalize the promises we learned today. Insert your name and pray these heartfelt prayers.

Wake up each morning for the next 7 days and invite the Prince of Peace to fill you from the top of your head to the tips of your toes. Keep His Name on your lips throughout the day.

© 2016 by Wendy Blight. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
630 Team Rd., Suite 100
Matthews, NC 28105
www.Proverbs31.org