Tag Archives: Christmas

Finishing the Angel Message

Each year, during the Christmas season, I am reminded that several Christmas hymns and many Christmas cards fail to finish the Scripture passage that, summarized and condensed, begins “Peace on Earth, good will toward men … ”

It may seem insignificant to some, but I have grown more and more convicted to call Christians to finish the passage, because it IS significant. The angels did not sing/say, “Peace on Earth, good will toward men,” as though they were referring to all people. Luke 2:14 says, “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.” (NASB)  “… with whom He is pleased,” is a serious qualifying phrase. On any given day, God is clearly not pleased with every citizen of Earth, even among those calling themselves Christians.

The significance of this passage should call us to seek to be men, women and children with whom He is pleased. This is accomplished through study of His word (so we know what pleases Him); through consistent practice of his laws (He handed them down so we would understand what pleases Him – and what does not); and through the sharing of His gospel – the very gospel (good news) that the angels were heralding – to those who have not yet heard, so they can also seek to please Him.

As you journey through the coming year, let your “resolution” be to realize the significance of the angels’ qualifier, and to seriously seek to be a child of His with whom He can be pleased from day to day. There is no peace to be had by any other means. God, through the angels near Bethlehem, did not promise that there would be peace among all men on Earth – now, or ever. He did convey there and then that those with whom He is pleased could expect to experience peace.

Years ago, I wrote the little poem below. It seemed appropriate to include with this post – my “qualifier” for the day.

CAN GOD SMILE AS HE WATCHES ME?

When He studies the things that I do and say,
Will God wear a smile at the end of the day?

Will each word my mouth speaks make Him happy?
Will the actions I take make Him pleased?
Will He whisper, “Well done, my faithful child,”
Through the day as He watches me?

As He makes His review of my actions and words,
Will a smile light the face of my loving Lord?
Or will He sigh and shake His head
As the things I do break His heart instead?

Before you speak and before you act
As you journey through each day,
Ask yourself if your Heavenly Father approves
Honor Him as He leads the way!
©2004gdsJones

Angel Visit – Luke 1:30-33

Selkirk Mountain Inspiration 1 - Week 50
Selkirk Mountain Inspiration 1 – Week 50

Selkirk Mountain Inspiration 1 – Week Fifty

When I was choosing photos to pair with pre-Christmas verses, the intense coloration of this sunset really “spoke” to me about what an angel visit in the middle of the night might look like. It is as “unearthly” as any sunset photo I have ever taken, I think. I do have another “unearthly” looking sunset photo, but it has the appearance of a frightful monster, so I did not even consider including it in this little devotional book.

Can you imagine being Mary? Sure, she believed in God. But to have Him single her out for perhaps the most important “mission” ever assigned in history? Wow! Would that we could be so obedient and faithful.

The night is dark and I am far from home; Lead Thou me on! – John H. Newman

Plains Proclamation – Isaiah 9:6-7

Selkirk Mountain Inspiration – Week Forty Nine

A child will be born ...
A child will be born …

Although this photo was not taken in the “holy land,” this landscape in Utah seemed to me to represent what that area might have looked like at certain times of the year. Christmas is coming. Because my youngest son was born on December 16 (he was due on the 23rd), for the past 21 years, it has been hard for me to “get into” Christmas preparations until after Tyler’s birthday on December 16.

I am so awed by the fact that Jesus was “proclaimed” in the Old Testament so many times. Although I was raised in the church, I never knew until adulthood that the events in Jesus’ life were already made known throughout the Old Testament, long before He came to Earth to save us.

O Love that wilt not let me go, I rest my weary soul in Thee … George Matheson

Angel Visit – Luke 1:30-33

Bk1Wk50clipExcerpted from Selkirk Mountain Inspiration, Week Fifty

When I was choosing photos to pair with pre-Christmas verses, the intense coloration of this sunset really “spoke” to me about what an angel visit in the middle of the night might look like. It is as “unearthly” as any sunset photo I have ever taken, I think. I do have another “unearthly” looking sunset photo, but it has the appearance of a frightful monster, so I did not even consider including it in this little devotional book.

Can you imagine being Mary? Sure, she believed in God. But to have Him single her out for perhaps the most important “mission” ever assigned in history? Wow! Would that we could be so obedient and faithful.

Angel Visit - Selkirk Mountain Inspiration 1, Week Fifty
Angel Visit – Selkirk Mountain Inspiration 1, Week Fifty

 

The night is dark and I am far from home; Lead Thou me on! –  John H. Newman

Garbed in Pink – Genesis 28:17

Selkirk Mountain Inspiration 3, Week 49Week Forty Nine in Selkirk Mountain Inspiration 3

This December afternoon was one of those “baby-quilt” days that cannot fail to bring a smile to my face. There is just nothing in the world like pink snow – and this is my opportunity to share it with the millions of people around the world who have never seen it.   As Advent begins, we take time to reflect on the magnitude of God’s gift of His Son to our broken world. As awesome as this place is, Heaven is infinitely more awesome; and Christ agreed to leave His home there and come to live among us – to save us. During the next few weeks, you will likely have opportunities to invite the un-churched to a Christmas program or caroling event, ladies luncheon or men’s breakfast. Be watchful for those opportunities to present themselves, and extend those invitations as often as possible. ‘Tis the season …

Selkirk Mountain Inspiration 3, Week 49
Selkirk Mountain Inspiration 3, Week 49

Our praise and prayer and anthems before Thee we present – Theodulph of Orleans