Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Simplicity of Jesus's Birth

Isaiah 53:1-12

New King James Version (NKJV)

Who has believed our report?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant,
And as a root out of dry ground.
He has no form or comeliness;
And when we see Him,
There is no beauty that we should desire Him.
He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He opened not His mouth;
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.
He was taken from prison and from judgment,
And who will declare His generation?
For He was cut off from the land of the living;
For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
And they[a] made His grave with the wicked—
But with the rich at His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was any deceit in His mouth.
10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him;
He has put Him to grief.
When You make His soul an offering for sin,
He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days,
And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.
11 He shall see the labor of His soul,[b] and be satisfied.
By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many,
For He shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great,
And He shall divide the spoil with the strong,
Because He poured out His soul unto death,
And He was numbered with the transgressors,
And He bore the sin of many,
And made intercession for the transgressors.

Luke 2:12-17
New King James Version (NKJV)
12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
14 “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”[a]
15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely[b] known the saying which was told them concerning this Child.
Merry Christmas my loving Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus. The above verses from both the Old and New Testament tell us of the coming ,and birth, of our Savior, There are so many lessons for us to learn in just these two verses, life changing lessons, but  for me as a loving daughter of Christ, these verses teach us humility, and that judgment of others was not meant for us, but for our awesome God. 
Many humankind believe that the Creator of the universe would come in all His glory and change the earth into a land of milk and honey, He would come with riches and the best of all things, the way we as humans view things. But no, He was born to a regular family, in a barn filled with animals, placed in a food bin for cows, Really? Yes.
How amazing is our God? He wanted us to know right from the beginning that only He sees all things. We judge people by their clothes, cars, homes, schools, jobs, that first impression, what's the expression we're all told at some point in our lives, " You only get one shot at a first impression." Shameful really, and can be quite scary, and dangerously deceptive.
For it's our Hearts the Lord judges, and it should be what we look at when we see a person, but most of the times, in many areas of human life it isn't the first but the last thing we notice.
For instance we pass a homeless person on the street and we think, 'what a waste and a pity?"  Why? There are so many people who have lived or do live on the street because of circumstances beyond their control. Not because they abused a substance, but perhaps it was because they were being abused, and the street was better than being beat or worse. Not everyone has family or people willing to take them in, times are tough.

Than you see the man or woman who are CEO's, or Actor's, or Athlete's, making millions and millions, some give back from their hearts, but how often do we hear things that shock us, and make us shake our heads, because we have made them role models, only to find out that their motives were for self gratification, even when they chose to give. Our Lord gives an awesome example of this in:

Mark 12:41-44

New King James Version (NKJV)

The Widow’s Two Mites

41 Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. And many who were rich put in much. 42 Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites,[a] which make a quadrans. 43 So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; 44 for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.”
You see, it's not how much we have of anything, it is what we do with what we have that matters. What is the motive behind our actions? Are they sincerely from our heart? Or are they to build a façade to hide behind, to disguise what is truly missing from our heart? 
The birth, life, and death of our Lord Jesus paid our sin debts in full, It allowed us to be saved by God's grace, filled with The Holy Spirit, so that our Lord could use our bodies as lights for the path's of our feet, so that we may walk in obedience to Him, When we do that, when we have a heart like Jesus, loving, forgiving, non-judging, than it is crystal clear to those who have lost their way, for those who may not have known about our Lord, to see Him and want to run into His loving arms.
I pray this Celebration of the birth and life of our Lord inspires us all to be non-judging and obedient servants, so that our Lord may continue to use us, working through us to bring His sheep home. May we all share the love of our lives, with a new found zeal, witnessing and giving testimony in Jesus name, and being a true Saint of Christ, working as one body, to build His church until His return, to bring us home.
God has a will, plan and purpose for every one of us. My Christmas prayer is that we all see that plan for our lives and keep our eyes open for all the gifts and blessings He has placed on our path's for the upcoming year. May we all follow that plan until our last breath, when we will be greeted by our Loving Father, I lift this and all petitions up in the blood and name of our Savior Jesus Christ amen.
I usually write a poem for the week but I want the words of our Lord to be the last thing we keep on our hearts, so I will close by wishing you and all of your loved ones a Blessed Christmas, may it be filled with love, joy, peace, and wisdom. Safe travels everyone. God bless, love, hugs, and prayers Patricia xoxox 


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

God's Awesome Gift and Reminder

1 Peter 2:19-25

New International Version (NIV)
19 For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God. 20 But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. 21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.
22 “He committed no sin,
    and no deceit was found in his mouth.”[a]
23 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. 24 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” 25 For “you were like sheep going astray,”[b] but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

It's strange how some people think that gifts should not be a part of Christmas, there were gifts all around baby Jesus, and He was a gift to the world. Last week I wrote about how we as Christians sometimes suffer, for God has a will, plan, and purpose, and suffering is part of that plan, though, through His strength we can do all things.

In the above scripture we read how Jesus suffered so that we might live, and that it wasn't the suffering, as much as it was about how He responded to it. Jesus, sinless and yet, He accepted their cruelty and pain, knowing that His loving Father was there, and He would never make Him suffer, without a greater good, for He was fulfilling the prophesies.

Jesus is our mentor, our example. We are here to show that our awesome loving God, would never make us suffer unless it was to better the lives of His Children. Our Father wants to work through us, so that we too can be good Shepard's, allowing His love and glory to shine so brightly, that those lost in the dark could come racing back to His loving arms, and those who never knew Him could see the Truth.

If we had a choice to be out on a limb with Jesus or safe in our house without him, where would we choose to be? I know where I'd be headed. We all have crossroads we come upon throughout our journey. At some of those forks in the road the choice was simple, while at others, not so much.

The great thing is, because Jesus walked as we walk, He knows what confusion, temptation, dilemma's, and pain we face; and therefore, since as believers we know He walked the walk, and that the power of God lives on the inside of us, all He asks of us, is to keep our eyes, hearts, minds, and souls on that fact. When we do that, it allows Him to use our bodies to shine His light and truth for all those who need see and hear. We are His vehicle on earth, as He sits at the right hand of the Father, we the believers are the body of Christ here on earth.

 He left the Holy Spirit to guide us so we, His children, can fulfill the will, plan, and purpose He has for His one body. When we follow His path at that fork in the road than the consequences are on God. I say, a BIG amen to that.

Unfortunately, if we come to the fork in the road, and having read and know God's will,  decide to go ahead and do it our way and see what happens; well now we are responsible for the consequences. Sometimes they are short term lessons, and sometimes they become a lifelong change. Are we willing to go for temporary fulfillment, over Eternal blessings? As a believer, we will lose the blessing He had planned for that obedience, as a non-believer that choice will add more punishment to their forever.

We all have a forever. Will yours be with The loving Father, Jesus our Savior, and the Holy Spirit in forever love and joy? Or will it be in the pit of hell that was created for  Satan and his angels that chose him over God?

May this Christmas encourage you to be a gift for God, by sharing you're testimony and witnessing to at least one person who may have lost their way, or have never had the opportunity to hear about our awesome Savior.

 I pray you and your families have a safe and loving Christmas filled with the joy, of not only our Saviors birth, but for His loving walk and sacrifice, for because of His fulfillment of the scriptures, we received Him, our greatest gift, and God's Grace made possible through His suffering and death on the cross. I lift this and all petitions up in the blood and name of our Savior Jesus Christ amen

I pray the below poem from my upcoming book, " Poems of the Eternal Heart a Daily Devotional" will inspire the rest of your week. Love, hugs and prayers Patricia xoxox

The Forever Gift
If only we would listen,
to the voice that speaks within,
our lives would be much easier,
as He washes away all sin.
And not just the ones we know about,
but the one's we've yet to do,
for the Heavenly Father knows us all,
and wants to help us through.
The open gates that await us all,
who know Jesus is our king,
and the love, joy, and glory,
this forever gift will bring.....
Patricia VanDenburg


Sunday, December 8, 2013

Live Each Day with Purpose and Meaning

2 Corinthians 11:23-27
New King James Version (NKJV)

23 Are they ministers of Christ?—I speak as a fool—I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. 24 From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27 in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness—

Philippians 4:13
New King James Version (NKJV)

13 I can do all things through Christ[a] who strengthens me

Happy Sunday everyone....... The above verses cover just about everything we seem to go through in our Christian life, don't they? Paul suffered unthinkable things and yet, through all of that, He wrote most of the New Testament, from a prison cell I might add. But you know, it would seem after reading how he was tortured, starved, beaten, left for dead, that this could not be possible; until we get to his verse in Philippians, that one little line surely packs the punch, and explanation; "through Christ who strengthens me."

If we think about our own lives, how many times have we gone through trials, heartaches, illness, and think "I can't do this God" and we ask for His help, and low and behold, not only do we come out of it, but we either, learn, grow, or change for the better because of it.

I know there are disasters and tragedies that change us forever, but when we lift it up and ask Jesus to carry us through,  in His strength, it makes it possible for us to do what we need to, whether it be for other loved ones, or for ourselves, it helps us to complete our purpose for God. It is a comfort to know that with His strength, with His instructions, guiding us through the Holy Spirit who lives within and discerns for us, the will, plan, and purpose He gave us, becomes much more possible in our eyes to fulfill.

I pray that the upcoming week is filled with the strength ,love, and comfort of the Holy Spirit. That we all continue to feel our loving Fathers embrace and direction.That through the discernment of the Spirit, in all circumstances we may face, especially during the Christmas season, God's love and promises will outshine all the darkness. I hope my below poem from my upcoming daily devotional "Poems of the Eternal Heart a Daily Devotional" inspires your week. Big Hugs, love, and prayers, Patricia

Through The Storms

Sometimes it's hard to understand,
why things happen as they do,
but the one who loves us most of all,
promised He'd see us through.

And though sometimes we can't make sense,
of the things that come to pass,
His love, strength, and comfort,...
will always fill our glass.

That's why our faith sees us through,
even in our darkest hours,
for those are the times our Loving Father,
reminds us of His powers.

For through His love and promises,
our darkness turns to light,
for we know our Loving Savior,
who is seated at His right.

He left behind the comforter,
to extend a guiding hand,
for this work address can get mighty tough,
it's not our Promised Land.

No, the Holy Spirit will fill us all,
 to help discern until that day,
when our loving Savior Jesus Christ,
will return to lead the way....

Patricia VanDenburg

Sunday, December 1, 2013

A Countdown to Christmas . . . . . . . The Birth of our Savor Jesus Christ

Usually, when people begin a countdown it marks a goal drawing to it's completion. But not Christmas. Christmas is the beginning. It is the beginning of our possible transition. A Carnal eternal being completely separated from God filled with unthinkable suffering; or God's promise to the believer, that our Eternal being will live with Jesus Joyfully, peacefully, in beauty and love for all eternity.

 As Christians we know that God is  Alpha and Omega, no beginning and no end, but we as humans have a beginning, and yet, to our surprise, there are still many who are unaware we have no end; that we are, eternal beings. The reason we rejoice in our dear Savior's birth, is because our eternity went from dammed, full of unthinkable horror, to one of peace, tranquility, love, and bliss as a possibility, through God's grace and our belief in Him, as the one true Savior.

That is why the birth of Christ is so important. In order for Him to die for our sins and rise  from the dead at Easter, to grant us Grace and eternal  life, so that God the Father can forgive us, He must first have to be born of flesh, live a sinless life, yet know sin. He was put here by our loving Father so that He would feel, and know all the temptations, pains, and deceptions His children would face.

 He wanted to assure us that we would be fully equipped, so that we could carry out His will, plan, and purpose for our lives on earth.  He wanted to be certain that His light and Glory would be seen through all darkness. We find this in several places in God's word one of my favorites is in:

Hebrews 4:14-16

New King James Version (NKJV)

Our Compassionate High Priest

14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

This is why Christmas represents hope. Hope that through our love we may not just be a believer, but a follower of Christ. He wants us to spread His love and message, witness whenever possible, share our story of Salvation, so that in the days to follow there are more of His children who have come in from the darkness and can now be a beacon as well, allowing God's love to spread as far and wide as possible.

So from now until Christmas I would love for everyone, including me, to share one thing a day, that the Holy Spirit, through His discernment, shared with you that touched someones day in even the smallest of ways. May God bless our week, may we continue to feel His loving embrace in all circumstances, and may our prayers for divine healing continually be lifted, for all those in pain physically, emotionally, and spiritually, in the blood and name of our precious Savior Jesus Christ amen.

Today the Holy Spirit shared with me the importance of being not just a believer, but a follower who is not ashamed to witness or profess His or Her love of Christ, and that I should share that with all of you. Love, hugs, and prayers Patricia xox <3