He is Jesus!

Topics for Teaching:  Jesus, His identity, His uniqueness, His mission, His victory, His sovereignty

WelcomeProphets foretold His birth centuries before it occurred.An angel appeared to His mother to announce the miracle of his conception.

His Father chose as His mother an unknown maiden with a heart inclined to God and ready to surrender herself to God’s will.

He left His heavenly home to come into a world that seemed to have no room for Him.

He was born in Bethlehem to fulfill prophecy of His royal birth.

And yet, He was born in the humblest of circumstances in order to identify fully with humankind and because He had no intention of becoming an earthly King.

His birth was celebrated by angels and accompanied by a phenomenal Heavenly star to proclaim His deity.

Modest working men were the first to hear of His coming, demonstrating that no wealth is necessary to know Him.

Wise men of wealth and position travelled from far away to bring gifts to Him and worship the One whose birth could be seen in the Heavens, showing that He was and is the King of Kings.

He astonished the learned scholars in the temple at a young age, demonstrating that He is the Word made flesh.

He healed sickness, demonstrating His compassion and His power over human frailty.

He raised the dead, demonstrating His power over death and the coming end of sorrow.

He multiplied the provisions of men, taking care of earthly need and demonstrating that God can take what we offer and do more with it that we could imagine.

He walked on water and calmed the storm, demonstrating His supremacy over all created things and what we call the “laws of nature.”

He taught with authority because He was the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

He taught profound truth through the simplicity of parables so that all people and even children could understand.

He wept at the sorrow of death and the rejection of God’s plan in demonstration of His incarnation.  He is Emmanuel, God with us,… in grief, in sorrow, in rejection, and in loss.

He demonstrated humility in washing the feet of His own disciples.

He foretold His own death and resurrection and the denial of one of His closest followers.

He chose God’s will for Himself and submitted to a mockery of a trial so that He could take our guilt.

He was beaten, despised, humiliated and condemned so that we could be redeemed.

He carried much more than a heavy wooden cross on His back.  He carried the weight of the sin of all mankind.

The hands that blessed and healed were nailed to a cross.

The beautiful feet that had carried the message of God’s love and mercy were pierced so that He could carry our sin to the mercy seat.

The heart that beat with more love than you or I could fathom was stilled as He gave up His life so that we could have life everlasting.

He commited His spirit to God and spoke the words of victory that echo through eternity:  “It is finished!”

“He was in the beginning with God, and with Him everything that was created was made.  In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.”

He is life, and He came to give life.  And yet, he endured death, and darkness, and Hell.

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

He did not stay in the tomb.   He was no longer there, for He had risen, just as He said.

He appeared to Mary, to his disciples, and to other followers.  He was not bound by death or by the walls of a tomb.  He is alive!

He told His followers that he must leave so that the Holy Spirit could come and inhabit the hearts of all believers.

He told them what he would be doing while they were apart.  He is preparing a place in Heaven, reigning as Sovereign Lord at the right hand of God the Father, and praying for believers.

He gave them their mission:  “Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always even unto the end of the world.”

He is with us.  He is praying for us.  He is preparing a place for us.

He is still changing lives, touching hearts, and healing hurts.

He is the Savior of the world.

He is the Redeemer whose love for mankind could not be crucified.

He is the Lord of All.

He is the beginning and the end.

He is the Bridegroom.

He is the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world.

He is the Living Water, bringing unquenchable life.

He is the King of glory, the hope of mankind, and the joy of man’s desiring.

He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

He is Jesus!

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This post originated in the heart of God before the foundation of the World. The words were put together by Cynthia A. Boyd to proclaim Jesus as Lord and Savior.

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Thank you for spending your valuable time reading the contents of this page.  We hope that it has been helpful to you.   If you or someone that you know is looking for answers about life, we hope that you will visit our page called “Do You Know Jesus?”.   The links provided on this page will help to answer life’s deepest questions.   Here is the link to “Do You Know Jesus?”:  http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/

Please feel free to share this URL with anyone who is looking for answers about life and eternity.

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“He is Jesus!”, copyright 2012 by Cynthia A. Boyd, all rights reserved. To share this post,  only the URL  may be copied or posted.    http://www.familysong.wordpress.com/2012/12/28/he-is-jesus/

Permission must be obtained for printing or for audio or video recording if this is used as a reading.

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Grace…it really is Amazing!

Teaching topic:  God’s amazing grace, the expression of His great love!

Photo of the interior of the Ida Cason Callaway Memorial Chapel at Callaway Gardens (by Dea Minter Carey)

* GRACE GIVES,… out of the overflow of LAVISH LOVE!

Glimpses of grace come to us in all kinds of ways. We see the grace of God through His word, through an encouragement when we need it most, through the reminders of His love and mercy, and through the majesty and beauty of His creation, which is constantly sustained by His grace. We also see grace extended through the lives of others. We have been given lavish grace, and we have opportunities every day to extend this grace to others. In our lives, we all have stories of grace extended, grace recognized, grace blossoming, and grace overcoming darkness with light.

Sometimes we just don’t think about all of the manifestations of grace and may even take it for granted. We should think about grace, because we need to seek to extend God’s grace into the lives of people with whom we come into contact and into the world around us. The only way for us to extend the grace that we have been given by God is to do so intentionally. Grace is love that goes beyond. It is lavish love. It is not a mere exchange, requiring something in return. Grace gives when there is no promise of recompense. Grace reaches out through alienation and hurt. Grace heals, encourages, surprises us, and takes our breath away at the beauty of its motivation. For grace is pure. It is love that gives because it overflows, not because it is deserved or earned.  The best gift ever given, God’s only Son, Jesus Christ is the embodiment of the lavish, loving grace of God.  Grace really IS amazing!

* GRACE EMBRACES….out of a longing for relationship

As Jesus has loved us, so are we to love one another. We must remember that we have already been given that which we do not deserve…the love and mercy of God through our Savior, Jesus Christ. It is because of the lavish gift of salvation that we must choose to lay aside that which is temporary and embrace that which is eternal. When we embrace and value the lives of fellow human beings, we are most like Christ. Though He clearly saw the sin and sorrow in every life He encountered, Jesus healed, blessed, encouraged, helped, taught, fed, raised, challenged, transformed, forgave, and loved all who came across His path. The desire for a relationship with us because of His great love for us was more important to Jesus than any condemnation of our unrighteousness or exaltation of His own righteousness.

“For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” John 3:17

* GRACE SEES…what could be

Because grace is lavish love expressed through undeserved mercy, grace sees.
Grace sees what could be….in the hearts and lives of people.
Grace sees what could be….in our own hearts and lives….and our need for growth.
Grace sees what could be….in relationships.
Grace sees what could be….in attitudes.
Grace demonstrates love to us right where we are….and sees ahead to what God will do in our lives as we yield our will and our hearts to Him.

* GRACE KNOWS US…right where we are…and chooses to show us love and mercy.

Grace is a choice that God makes in every millisecond of time to continue to show mercy because of His great love for us. The world keeps on spinning because of Amazing Grace. Our hearts keep beating because of the amazing grace of God. He could choose immediate judgement, but instead He chooses grace. And, from the dawn of time, His plan was to meet our need for grace by taking our judgement upon Himself because of His great love. We didn’t have to deserve or earn the right to forgiveness and salvation. He loves, He provides, He forgives, He sanctifies, He heals, He makes all things new, He comforts, He blesses, He gives joy and life more abundant, and His mercies are new every morning…because He is love. His grace flows out of the overflow of His lavish love, and the flow is never-ending.

“And the Word became flesh and lived among us, full of grace and truth; and we have beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten Son of the Father. And from His fulness we have all received grace upon grace.” John 1:14 & 16

“And the Word became flesh and lived among us, full of grace and truth; and we have beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten Son of the Father. And from His fulness we have all received grace upon grace.” John 1:14 & 16

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Post written by C. Boyd

This post was first published as a page on our WorshipSound Music Blog at http://worshipsounds.wordpress.com/grace-notes/

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Do you know someone who is looking for answers?

Thank you for spending your valuable time reading the contents of this page. We hope that it has been helpful to you. If you or someone that you know is looking for answers about life, we hope that you will visit our page called “Do You Know Jesus?”. The links provided on this page will help to answer life’s deepest questions. Here is the link to “Do You Know Jesus?”: http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/

Please feel free to share this URL with anyone who is looking for answers about life and eternity.

Tidings of Great Joy!

Topic for teaching:  the birth of Jesus, prophecies fulfilled, trust and worship God

Nativity silhouetteThis post contains the story of the birth of Christ with the scriptural accounts from Luke’s Gospel and Matthew’s Gospel, illustrated throughout with the most appropriate art or photos of dramatic portrayals that we could find. Following the scriptural story, you will find some information about some of the prophecies that were fulfilled with the birth of Christ. This information about the prophecies and their fulfillment comes from two different sources, which are noted.

THE STORY OF THE BIRTH OF CHRIST
IN SCRIPTURES AND ILLUSTRATIONS

Luke 1

New International Version (NIV)
(Scripture passages are copied from http://www.biblegateway.com )

Introduction

1 Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled[a] among us, 2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. 3 With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.

The Birth of John the Baptist Foretold

Dramatic portrayal of Zechariah and Elizabeth

Dramatic portrayal of Zechariah and Elizabeth

5 In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. 6 Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly. 7 But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old.8 Once when Zechariah’s division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, 9 he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10 And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside.

Artistic deptiction of the angel appearing to Zechariah

Artistic deptiction of the angel Gabriel appearing to Zechariah

11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12 When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. 13 But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. 14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. 16 He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

18 Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.”

19 The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. 20 And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.”

21 Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah and wondering why he stayed so long in the temple. 22 When he came out, he could

Artistic depiction of Zechariah with Elizabeth

Artistic depiction of Zechariah with Elizabeth

not speak to them. They realized he had seen a vision in the temple, for he kept making signs to them but remained unable to speak.

23 When his time of service was completed, he returned home. 24 After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion.25 “The Lord has done this for me,” she said. “In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.”

The Birth of Jesus Foretold

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

Artistic depiction of the angel Gabriel appearing to Mary

Artistic depiction of the angel Gabriel appearing to Mary

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

Artistic deptiction of Mary as she expressed her desire to serve the Lord

Artistic deptiction of Mary as she expressed her desire to serve the Lord

34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[b] the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

Mary Visits Elizabeth

Artistic depiction of Elizabeth greeting Mary

Artistic depiction of Elizabeth greeting Mary

39 At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, 40 where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.

42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!

43 But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”

Artistic depiction of Mary and Elizabeth rejoicing together

Artistic depiction of Mary and Elizabeth rejoicing together

Mary’s Song

46 And Mary said:

Artistic depiction of Mary glorifying the Lord

Artistic depiction of Mary glorifying the Lord

“My soul glorifies the Lord47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48 for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, 49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me— holy is his name. 50 His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. 51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. 52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. 53 He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. 54 He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful 55 to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors.”

56 Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.

The Birth of John the Baptist

Dramatic portrayal of Zechariah and Elizabeth with their miracle baby

Dramatic portrayal of Zechariah and Elizabeth with their miracle baby

57 When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son. 58 Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy.

59 On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him after his father Zechariah, 60 but his mother spoke up and said, “No! He is to be called John.”

61 They said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who has that name.”

Artistic depiction of Zechariah writing on a tablet, "His name is John."

Artistic depiction of Zechariah writing on a tablet, “His name is John.”

62 Then they made signs to his father, to find out what he would like to name the child. 63 He asked for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s astonishment he wrote, “His name is John.” 64 Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue set free, and he began to speak, praising God. 65 All the neighbors were filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judea people were talking about all these things. 66 Everyone who heard this wondered about it, asking, “What then is this child

going to be?” For the Lord’s hand was with him.

Zechariah’s Song

67 His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied:

68 “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them. 69 He has raised up a horn[c] of salvation for us in the house of his servant David 70 (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago), 71 salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us— 72 to show mercy to our ancestors and to remember his holy covenant, 73 the oath he swore to our father Abraham: 74 to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear 75 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.

Artistic portrayal of the prophecy of Zechariah

Artistic portrayal of the prophecy of Zechariah

76 And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, 77 to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, 78 because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven 79 to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.”

80 And the child grew and became strong in spirit[d]; and he lived in the wilderness until he appeared publicly to Israel.

Luke 2

The Birth of Jesus

2 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.2 (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.

Sculptural portrayal of Caesar Augustus

Sculptural portrayal of Caesar Augustus

Artistic portrayal of Mary and Joseph travelling to Bethlehem

Artistic portrayal of Mary and Joseph travelling to Bethlehem

4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.

6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

Artistic depiction of Mary caring for Baby Jesus

Artistic depiction of Mary caring for Baby Jesus

shepherds afraid8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”1

The Heavely Host appear to the shepherds and share the good news of the birth of Jesus

The Heavely Host appear to the shepherds and share the good news of the birth of

5 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

Shepherds on the way to find baby Jesus

Shepherds on the way to find baby Jesus

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.

The shepherds adore the baby Jesus

The shepherds adore the baby Jesus

17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.Mary holding baby Jesus19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

20 The shepherds returned [to their flocks}, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Artistic depiction of the shepherds returning to their flocks, glorifying and praising God

Artistic depiction of the shepherds returning to their flocks, glorifying and praising God

21 On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.

Jesus Presented in the Temple

Artistic depiction of Mary and Joseph taking baby Jesus to the temple

Dramatic portrayal of Mary and Joseph taking baby Jesus to the temple

22 When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”[b]), 24 and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”[c]

Artistic depiction of Simeon thanking God for baby Jesus

Artistic depiction of Simeon thanking God for baby Jesus

25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:

29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss[d] your servant in peace. 30 For my eyes have seen your salvation, 31 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.”

33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

Anna rejoicing36 There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then was a widow until she was eighty-four.[e] She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38 Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.

39 When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. 40 And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.

Matthew 1

New International Version (NIV)

The Genealogy of Jesus the Messiah

1 This is the genealogy[a] of Jesus the Messiah[b] the son of David, the son of Abraham:

Artistic depiction of Abraham and Isaac

Artistic depiction of Abraham and Isaac

2 Abraham was the father of Isaac,

Isaac the father of Jacob,

Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,

3 Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar,

Perez the father of Hezron,

Hezron the father of Ram,

4 Ram the father of Amminadab,

Amminadab the father of Nahshon,

Nahshon the father of Salmon,

5 Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab,

Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth,

Obed the father of Jesse,

6 and Jesse the father of King David.

Artistic depiction of David and Solomon

Artistic depiction of David and Solomon

David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife,

7 Solomon the father of Rehoboam,

Rehoboam the father of Abijah,

Abijah the father of Asa,

8 Asa the father of Jehoshaphat,

Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram,

Jehoram the father of Uzziah,

9 Uzziah the father of Jotham,

Jotham the father of Ahaz,

Ahaz the father of Hezekiah,

10 Hezekiah the father of Manasseh,

Manasseh the father of Amon,

Amon the father of Josiah,

11 and Josiah the father of Jeconiah[c] and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon.

12 After the exile to Babylon:

Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel,

Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,

13 Zerubbabel the father of Abihud,

Abihud the father of Eliakim,

Eliakim the father of Azor,

14 Azor the father of Zadok,

Zadok the father of Akim,

Akim the father of Elihud,

15 Elihud the father of Eleazar,

Eleazar the father of Matthan,

Matthan the father of Jacob,

16 and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah.

Dramatic portrayal of the betrothed couple, Joseph and Mary

Dramatic portrayal of the betrothed couple, Joseph and Mary

17 Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah.

Joseph Accepts Jesus as His Son

18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about[d]: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet[e] did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

Artistic depiction of Joseph as he slept and the angel appeared to him in a dream

Artistic depiction of Joseph as he slept and the angel appeared to him in a dream

20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,[f] because he will save his people from their sins.”

22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”[g] (which means “God with us”).

Dramatic portrayal of Joseph as he considers the dream and decides to obey and trust God

Dramatic portrayal of Joseph as he considers the dream and decides to obey and trust God

24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

Matthew 2

New International Version (NIV)

The Magi Visit the Messiah

Artistic depiction of baby Jesus with Mary and Joseph

Artistic depiction of baby Jesus with Mary and Joseph

Wise men from the east come seeking the baby Jesus

Wise men from the east come seeking the baby Jesus

2 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi[a] from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

The wise men consult with Herod about where the new King might be found

The wise men consult with Herod about where the new King might be found

3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:

6 “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’[b]

7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

Artistic depiction of the wise men (or Magi) continuing their journey to find Jesus

Artistic depiction of the wise men (or Magi) continuing their journey to find Jesus

9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.

Artistic deptiction of the wise men worshiping the young child Jesus

Artistic deptiction of the wise men worshiping the young child Jesus

11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

The Escape to Egypt

Artistic depiction of the angel warning Joseph in a dream

Artistic depiction of the angel warning Joseph in a dream

13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”

14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15 where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”[c]

Artistic depiction of Mary and Joseph fleeing to Egypt with Jesus following the angel's warning

Artistic depiction of Mary and Joseph fleeing to Egypt with Jesus following the angel’s warning

16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. 17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:

18 “A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”[d]

Artistic depiction of the killing of the innocent children due to Herod's evil decree.

Artistic depiction of the killing of the innocent children due to Herod’s evil decree.

The Return to Nazareth

19 After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt 20 and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.”

21 So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, 23 and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets, that he would be called a Nazarene.

Nazareth today

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ONE OF THE MOST WELL-KNOWN SCRIPTURE PASSAGES
OF PROPHECY ABOUT THE BIRTH OF CHRIST

baby JesusFor 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.
7 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.

Isaiah 9:6 & 7

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INFORMATION ABOUT PROPHECIES FULFILLED WITH THE BIRTH OF CHRIST

(NOTE: This information has been gathered from two sources, which are referenced with the URL for each site following the information gleaned from that site.)

Mattthew 1:20-23 [20] But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. [21] She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” [22] All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: [23] “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” –which means, “God with us.”

1. Promised Through the Seed of Abraham:

  • Old Testament Prophecy: Genesis 22:18
  • New Testament Fulfillment: Matthew 1:1

2. Promised Through Isaac:

  • Old Testament Prophecy: Genesis 21:12
  • New Testament Fulfillment: Luke 3:34

3. Out of the Tribe of Judah:

  • Old Testament Prophecy: Micah 5:2
  • New Testament Fulfillment: Luke 3:33

4. Born in the Family of Jesse:

  • Old Testament Prophecy: Isaiah 11:1
  • New Testament Fulfillment: Luke 3:32

5. Born in the House of David (King):

  • Old Testament Prophecy: Jeremiah 23:5-6
  • New Testament Fulfillment: Luke 3:31

6. Born in Bethlehem:

  • Old Testament Prophecy: Micah 5:2
  • New Testament Fulfillment: Luke 2:4-7

7. Born of a virgin:

  • Old Testament Prophecy: Isaiah 7:14
  • New Testament Fulfillment: Matthew 1:18

8. Worshipped and Presented gifts by Kings:

  • Old Testament Prophecy: Psalm 72:10
  • New Testament Fulfillment: Matthew 2:11

9. Worshipped by Shepherds:

  • Old Testament Prophecy: Psalm 72:9
  • New Testament Fulfillment: Luke 2:9

10. Weeping for the Children

  • Old Testament Prophecy: Jeremiah 31:15
  • New Testament Fulfillment: Matthew 2:16

11. Flight to Egypt

  • Old Testament Prophecy: Hosea 11:1
  • New Testament Fulfillment: Matthew 2:13-14

12. He will be called Lord:

  • Old Testament Prophecy: Psalm 110:1
  • New Testament Fulfillment: Luke 2:11

13. He is the Son of God:

  • Old Testament Prophecy: Psalm 2:7
  • New Testament Fulfillment: Luke 3:22
    (Matthew 3:17, Mark 1:11)

(The information above came from: http://englewoodcog.org/Word/Birth_of_Christ.php )

Concerning his nature

Prophesied

Fulfilled

11. He pre-existed creation Mic 5:2 1 Pet 1:20
12. He shall be called Lord Ps 110:1 Acts 2:36
13. Called Immanuel (God with us) Isa 7:14 Mt 1:22-23
14. Prophet Deut 18:18-19 Acts 3:18-25
15. Priest Ps 110:4 Heb 5:5-6
16. Judge Isa 33:22 Jn 5:22-23
17. King Ps 2:6 Jn 18:33-37
18. Anointed by the Spirit Isa 11:2 Mt 3:16-17
19. His zeal for God Ps 69:9 Jn 2:15-17

(The chart above was found at http://www.bible.ca/b-prophecy-60.htm )

Isaiah 9:6-7 [6] 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. [7] Of the increase 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. … 700 B.C.

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Do you know someone who is looking for answers?

Thank you for spending your valuable time reading the contents of this page. We hope that it has been helpful to you. If you or someone that you know is looking for answers about life, we hope that you will visit our page called “Do You Know Jesus?”. The links provided on this page will help to answer life’s deepest questions. Here is the link to “Do You Know Jesus?”: http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/

Please feel free to share this URL with anyone who is looking for answers about life and eternity.

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30 Thankful Verses

Thankful hearts, rejoice! Here are thirty verses about giving thanks to God. There is one verse for each day of the month, with some brief devotional thoughts to inspire you.  (Topic for teaching:  thankfulness)

DAY ONE

“The trumpeters and singers joined in unison, as with one voice, to give praise and thanks to the Lord. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, they raised their voices in praise to the Lord and sang: “He is good; His love endures forever.” Then the temple of the Lord was filled with a cloud.” II Chronicles 5:13

Jesus prayed that we (God’s people) would be one. When we come together as one to praise and thank Him, God’s presence is made known to us. Today, let us thank God, as the trumpeters and singers did, for His great love that endures forever.

DAY TWO

“I will give to the Lord the thanks due to His righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.” Psalm 7:17

He is holy and righteous. Thank God today for His righteousness.

DAY THREE

“I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart: I will tell of all Thy wonderful deeds. I will be glad and exult in Thee, I will sing praise to Thy name, O Most High.” Psalm 9:1 & 2

How are we supposed to give thanks to the Lord? This verse tells us that we should give thanks to God with our whole heart. A half-hearted thankfulness results from giving thanks out of a sense of duty, just because we know we should. However, when we spend some time thinking and meditating on all that God has done (His wonderful deeds), thankfulness is the natural overflow of our hearts in response to our great God. Spend some time thinking of His wonderful deeds, and thank Him with your whole heart!

DAY FOUR

“Blessed be the Lord! for He has heard the voice of my supplications. The Lord is my strength and my shield; in Him my heart trusts; so I am helped and my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to Him.” Psalm 28:6 & 7

Thank the Lord today for being a God that we can trust. He has our best interests at heart. He gives His strength, protects us, and helps us.

DAY FIVE

“Sing praises to the Lord, O you His saints, and give thanks to His holy name.” Psalm 30:4

His saints… He has accepted us as we are, saved us, and is at work in our hearts to make us like Jesus. Thank God for His mercy in all of these things!

DAY SIX

“Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God, and keep the vows you made to the Most High.” Psalm 50:14

He has given sacrificially to us in every way, and He always keeps His promises. Thank God today for accepting your thankfulness as a sacrifice to Him, for the sacrifices He has made to you, and for His unchanging character as a keeper of promises.

DAY SEVEN

“I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving.” Psalm 69:30

Thank God for the songs that allow you to praise His name and bring glory to Him through thanksgiving. Sing one of these songs to the Lord today.

DAY EIGHT

“It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto Thy name, O Most High; To show forth Thy lovingkindness in the morning, and Thy faithfulness every night.” Psalm 92:1 & 2

Thankfulness is a good thing! From morning until night, give thanks for God’s lovingkindness and faithfulness today.

DAY NINE

“O come, let us sing unto the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto Him with psalms. For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In His hand are the deep places of the earth; the strength of the hills is His also. The sea is His, and He made it; and His hands formed the dry land. O come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand.” Psalm 95:1 – 7a

He is a great God! Our God is the sovereign ruler and creator of all things! And yet, he regards us with tenderness, as the sheep of His hand. Thank God for His might and for His tenderness today.

DAY TEN

“Rejoice in the Lord, you righteous, and give thanks at the remembrance of His holiness.” Psalm 97:12

We can be called righteous only to the extent that His righteousness indwells our hearts. Thank God today for living within you.

DAY ELEVEN

“Make a joyful moise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness; come fefore His presence with singing. Know that the Lord is God; it is He that has made us and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise; be thankful unto Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good: His mercy is everlasting, and his truth endures to all generations.” Psalm 100 (all verses, 1 – 5)

The Lord is good! His mercy lasts forever! (He never tires of showing mercy!) His truth will prevail, even when it seems that the world is full of lies. Thank God today for these great truths about who He is.

DAY TWELVE

“O give thanks unto the Lord; call upon His name; make known His deeds among the people. Sing unto Him, sing psalms unto Him; talk of all His wondrous works. Glory in His holy name; let the heart of those who seek the Lord rejoice.” Psalm 105:1 – 3

We can rejoice and give thanks because when we call upon the Lord, He hears us. When we seek Him, He responds. Before we knew we needed Him, He met our need. These are among the wondrous works of the Lord. Thank Him today for being a God who knows us and who wants to be known by us.

DAY THIRTEEN

“Praise ye the Lord; O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy endures forever. Who can utter the mighty acts of the Lord? Who can show forth all His praise?” Psalm 106:1 & 2

Thank the Lord that His mighty acts are so numerous that no one can name them all. Thank Him for the ways that He is at work that we cannot see. The Lord is good! Show forth His praise today.

DAY FOURTEEN

“Let them thank the Lord for His steadfast love, for His wonderful works to the sons of men! And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of His deeds in songs of joy!” Psalm 107:21 & 22

No matter who we are, where we’ve been, or what we’ve done, God’s love for us is steadfast. Thank God today for His wonderful, everlasting love.

DAY FIFTEEN

“My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast! I will sing and make melody! Awake, my soul! Awake, O harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn! I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the peoples, I will sing praises to You among the nations. For Your steadfast love is great above the heavens, Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let Your glory be over all the earth.” Psalm 108:1 – 5

God’s faithfulness reaches to the clouds. It is beyond any faithfulness that we have ever known. God’s faithfulness is not dependant on perfection from us. He is faithful is spite of our sinfulness. Thank God for His faithfulness today and every day.

DAY SIXTEEN

“With my mouth I will give great thanks to the Lord; I will praise Him in the midst of the throng.” Psalm 109:30

Where did the Psalmist give thanks and praise to God? ….in the midst of the throng. And how? …with his mouth. Thank God today, no matter where you are and who is there with you. Thank Him out loud!

DAY SEVENTEEN

“Praise the Lord. I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation.” Psalm 111:1

Where else did the Psalmist give praise and thanks to the Lord? …in the company of the upright, in the congregation. You will never know how much your presence and the testimony of your praise may mean to the heart of another believer. Do not forsake the worship of God with your congregation. As iron sharpens iron, the faith of others increases our own faith, and your faith increases the faith of others. Thank God today for those who have been a spiritual influence in your life. Give Him praise with your whole heart, and remember to assemble with the saints in your congregation every time that you can be there.

DAY EIGHTEEN

“Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving; make melody to our God upon the lyre.” Psalm 147:7

Why are we told in scriptures so many times to sing to the Lord with thanksgiving? It’s because we matter to Him, and our praise matters to Him as well. We were created to bring Him glory. Thank God that you matter to Him, and that He considers you to be of such infinite value that your praise brings Him glory. Glorify Him with your praise and thanksgiving today.

DAY NINETEEN

“Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted. Sing to the LORD, for he has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world.” Isaiah 12:4-5

To whom are we to make God’s name and His deeds known? …to the nations, and to all the world. Our God wants everyone to know Him. He values all people. He loves all people. Today, thank God for the fact that He has allowed you to be part of His great mission to make Himself known and to reach the hearts of people around the world.

DAY TWENTY

“All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.” II Corinthian 4:15

Thank God for His wonderful, incredible grace, reaching out to us in spite of our sinfulness and covering our sin because of His great love.

DAY TWENTY ONE

“And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Eph. 5:20

For what should we be thankful? …everything. This is the most difficult thing for us to do, but He is with us and is working all things together for our good. Give thanks for the hard places in your journey.

DAY TWENTY TWO

“Do not be over-anxious about anything, but by prayer and earnest pleading, together with thanksgiving, let your request be unreservedly made known in the presence of God.” Phil. 4:6

Thank God today for the fact that we have the ability to talk to Him in prayer about anything. We are to come to Him without reservation. We do not need to worry. He hears our prayers and answers them in His wisdom.

DAY TWENTY THREE

We also pray that you will be strengthened with all His glorious power, so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to His people, who live in the light. Col 1:11 – 12

God continues to give! He gives strength through His glorious power, along with endurance and patience. He gives us an inheritance as His people. He allows us to live in the light of His glory and grace. Thank Him today, with joy!

DAY TWENTY FOUR

“Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:7

We don’t have to stay where we are in our walk with the Lord. He accepts us and loves us as we are, but He also continues His work in our hearts as we build our lives on Him. Thank God for His work in your heart and life. He will be faithful to complete it!

DAY TWENTY FIVE

“And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.” Colossians 3:15

Thank God for His peace, and ask Him to help you allow His peace to rule in your heart no matter what circumstances surround you.

DAY TWENTY SIX

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as you teach and admonish one another in all wisdom, and as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Colossians 3:16 & 17

Thank the Lord for Christ our Savior! He has given His all for us, so may we live to bring Him glory!

DAY TWENTY SEVEN

“Therefore, we never stop thanking God that when you received his message from us, you didn’t think of our words as mere human ideas. You accepted what we said as the very word of God–which, of course, it is. And this word continues to work in you who believe. I Thessalonians 2:13

Thank God for the power of his Word, which continues to work in us, and for Jesus the living Word, who has been the physical incarnation and demonstration of the Word

DAY TWENTY EIGHT

“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” I Thessalonians 5:18

We belong to Christ Jesus! He has saved us, and God holds us in the hollow of His hand. How can we fail to be thankful?

DAY TWENTY NINE

“I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.” I Timothy 2:1

Thank God for the people in your life…all of the people! And, when God brings a name or face across your path, thank Him for this person and ask God to help them.

DAY THIRTY

“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably, with reverence and awe.” Hebrews 12:28

Thank God for His eternal Kingdom and His ultimate victory. With our thankfulness, we offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence for Him and awe because of who He is and what He has done. Thank Him for being who He is.

WORTHY OF OUR THANKSGIVING

For all of time, God has been the same. He has always been worthy of praise and thanksgiving, and He always will be. Our grateful hearts on earth foreshadow the thankfulness of the great multitude in Heaven. Give thanks to Him every day! Amen.

“After this I looked, and behold, a great multititude which no man could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits upon the throne, and to the Lamb!” And all the angels stood round the throne and round the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshipped God, saying, ” Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God for ever and ever! Amen.”
Revelation 7:9 – 12

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This thankfulness guide could certainly be used in the month of November as many people focus on thanksgiving to God. However, it can be used at any time! Everyday, we have 10,000 reasons to thank God and give Him praise!

Note: The verses used in this post were copied from BibleCC, the Online Parallel Bible at http://bible.cc/
The verses were found using the following search terms: ‘thank’, ‘thanks’, ‘thankful’, ‘thankfulness’, ‘thanksgiving’, ‘give thanks’, and ‘giving thanks’. In each case, the Bible translation which seems to convey the meaning of the verse most clearly was used, so the verses represent various Bible translations. There were other verses in which the thankful terms also appeared. However, many of the verses in Psalms were very similar to verses already chosen. Other verses were part of a narrative and would have sounded incomplete when used out of context. The 30 verses chosen were just the best representation of verses about the subject of being thankful or giving thanks.

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These scriptures were compiled and the devotional thoughts were added by C. A. Boyd

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Do you know someone who is looking for answers?

Thank you for spending your valuable time reading the contents of this page. We hope that it has been helpful to you. If you or someone that you know is looking for answers about life, we hope that you will visit our page called “Do You Know Jesus?”. The links provided on this page will help to answer life’s deepest questions. Here is the link to “Do You Know Jesus?”: http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/

Please feel free to share this URL with anyone who is looking for answers about life and eternity.

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You Are Greatly Loved!

“Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through Him we have access to this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in our hope of sharing the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts throught the Holy Spirit which has been given to us.” Romans 5:1 – 5

Teaching topic:  The Awesome and Infinite Love of God

There are so many ways that the immense and immeasurable love of God is manifested to us, His deeply loved ones. He has written His love for us into His creation, and He has chosen again and again to show us mercy and grace because of His powerful, perfect, and almighty love.

Here are some ABC reminders of the many ways that God has demonstrated His love to us.

{ A } God’s love accepts us just as we are. When we are ready to see our own sinfulness and come to Him for forgiveness and salvation, God is always ready to receive us. We don’t have to clean ourselves up first or get ourselves right. He takes care of that after we have come to Him. The invitation to come to Him for salvation and forgiveness has no other conditions. It is the beginning point of our walk with the Lord and our journey towards becoming like Christ.

{ B } God’s love blesses our lives in countless ways. Every good gift is from Him. (James 1:17)

{ C } God’s love covers our sin with His mercy through the blood of Jesus. “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed in the one to whom the Lord imputes no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.” Psalm 32:1 & 2
(Note: the sin is covered by God only as we confess it and ask for His forgiveness, as in verse 1a)

{ D } God’s love delights in fellowship with us. He is never unavailable. He is God with Us, Emmanuel.

( E ) God’s love is everlasting. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. God’s love for us will never change or grow cold.

( F ) God’s love is forgiving. He is rich in mercy. As the hymn, “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee” expresses, He is “ever giving and forgiving.”

( G ) God’s love is generous. Because He loves, He gave the most precious gift ever given…His only Son.

“We love, because He first loved us.” I John 3:19

( H ) God’s love is holy. There is no impure thought or motivation within the heart of God. His love is the most pure and holy of all loves.

( I ) God’s love is immortal. The Bible says that God is love. And, since God will never die, His love (that is the basic character of who God is and the fundamental motivation for all that He does) will never die. Our mortal loved ones may leave us for a time on Earth, but God’s love has always been, constantly is, and will always be. It is who He is.

( J ) God’s love is a jealous love. He wants to be first in our hearts. To some, that may sound out of character for our merciful and loving God; but He is the one who made us and knows us best. He knows that our lives will be complete, abundant, full of joy, and our full potential will be realized only as we love Him first.

( K ) God’s love is kind. He has our best interests at heart. As the lyrics from the chorus to the song, “Trust His Heart” (recorded by both Babbie Mason and Cynthia Clawson) tell us so beautifully: “God is too wise to be mistaken. God is too good to be unkind. So, when you don’t understand, when you don’t see His plan, when you can’t trace His hand, trust His heart.”

( L ) God’s love is long-suffering (patient even when it is painful to be so). He allows the world to continue even though our sorrows bring him grief and our sin breaks his heart. His desire is to allow us more time to come to faith in Him, even in this fallen world. He sees beyond the present pain to the joy and victory that is to come and continues to show mercy.

( M ) God’s love is merciful. Perhaps a better spelling for the word would be mercyfull! Because God’s love for us is infinite in its fullness and in its capacity to forgive, God delights in showing us mercy. His mercies are new every morning!

( N ) God’s love is near. He is near to all who call upon His name. We don’t to wait for someday to know the love of the Lord. He is here. He is near.

( O ) God’s love is the origin of all true love. We love because He first loved us and created us with the capacity to give and receive love.

( P ) God’s love is powerful! His love has the power to transform lives, heal hearts, and purify souls.

( Q ) God’s love has both…quality and quantity! The quality of his love has a purity that goes beyond anything we experience on earth. And, as for quantitiy, there is always, abundantly, more of God’s love…enough to fill our hearts for eternity!

( R ) God’s love is redemptive. He will redeem every experience, every pain, every rejection, every loss, and every heart that says “Yes!” to His “Come Just as You Are” invitation.

“For God so loved…”

( S ) God’s love is saving love. In the words of Dottie Rambo, “He looked beyond my fault, and saw my need.” Because of His great love for us, God met our need for holiness, for relationship with Him, for abundant life, for purpose, for salvation. He sent Jesus as our Savior and allowed the ultimate sacrifice of Christ to become a substitutionary payment for the wages of our sin.

( T ) God’s love is true. We may wonder about the constancy of others, but God’s love is unaltered by time or circumstances. There is nothing that can separate us from the true love of God.

( U ) God’s love is understanding. There are those in our lives who may love us but not completely understand us. God, on the other hand, understands us better than we understand ourselves; and the best part is that He loves us anyway!

( V ) God’s love is victorious! The Latin phrase, “Amor vincit omni,” means “Love conquers all.” Our earthly loves are sometimes lasting in spite of obstacles, but we are inevitably separated by the enemy of death. God’s love has conquered sin, hell, and death! His love is victorious over all and will ultimately allow us to share in this victory.

( W ) God’s love is welcoming. We are the prodigals, captivated by our own desires, undertaking risky and ill-advised paths through life to get to the destination we think we want, using other people to get our way, living as if there is no tomorrow, breaking the Father’s heart with our sin and self-destructive ways. He is the ever-loving Father, waiting and praying for our return, continually watching for a sign that we are on our way home, ready to run to us and embrace us in all of our filth when He sees that we are ready to return, restoring our lives and our status as His own children, ready to celebrate and to give us every good gift!

( X ) God’s love is eXtravagant. He always goes far beyond in everything he does for us. He could have made us an earthly home that would have sustained us without all of the beauty and majesty that he has put into His creation. The colors, the shapes, the textures, the variety of species…in every facet of life…birds, trees, fish, reptiles, amphibians, arachnids, insects, flowers, grasses, leafy plants, crustaceans, mammals, food-bearing plants, shrubs, vines, and even microscopic creatures…it’s amazing! Every idea that we think we have came from Him first. Drinking straws? Butterflies have a built in tube for drinking nectar. The wheel? Have you ever seen a tumbleweed in the wind? The internal combustion engine? Our sun and every other star. Machines and factories? Our bodies are a machine. They are designed so that we can do work and accomplish tasks. A robotic arm has joints that allow it to bend and move in ways that we take for granted. Airplanes? Obvious. Electicity? What about lightning and the electical impulses in brains and our nervous system. Computers? Our human brains are amazingly capable in storing information and in reasoning that goes far beyond what any machine can do. What about identification technologies that quickly calculate all the relationships between the swirls of a fingerprint, the structure of a face, or the identifying points in an eye? We are that individual, each one the Master Artist’s masterpiece. None of these individual characteristics unique to every person could have come from evolution or natural selection. Did our ancestors select each other for mating based upon such miniscule identifiers? Such a thought is preposterous. No, each of us is formed by God in the womb as a totally unique and individual creation. Do we carry some genectic traits? Of course. God planned it that way. As the founder of the family, he wants us to be connected to those who are related closely to us. And yet, there is nothing in genetics that could explain the artist’s signature that is found in our fingerprints. What about salvation? He didn’t just send us a do-it-yourself guide. He sent Himself, gave Himself, and sacrificed Himself in the person of God the Son, Jesus Christ. Every moment His love and mercy allows us to live is a gift far beyond what His holiness and justice would require, were it not for God’s eXtravagant grace.

( Y ) God’s love yearns for what is best. He has promised to work all things together for our good (Romans 8:28). He will not rest until he has accomplished this. He who began a good work (in us and in His kingdom purposes) will be faithful to complete it.

( Z ) God’s love is zealous for us. He never loses His zeal for our salvation and sanctification; and He will accoomplish our ultimate glorification as we come to live forever with Him and are complete in Him, becoming like Christ in purity.

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This post was written by Cynthia Boyd and was inspired by the awesome and limitless love of God, with the help of the prompting provided by the message of the Valentine used as the illustration for this post.

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Do you know Jesus?

The decision to ask Jesus to come into your heart and life as your Lord and Savior is the best decision you could ever make! The one true God is ready to give you forgiveness and eternal life as soon as you understand your need for Him and believe on the name of His only Son, Jesus, for your salvation. Here’s a blog page link to help you find the answers to your questions about Jesus. http://www.familysong.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/

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A Little Boydie told me…

Just a reg’lar Mom in a house full of boys

praise4ever

praise4ever

I'm a busy wife and mother of 7, with 6 incredible boys still at home and a beautiful married daughter. Our boys range in age from our 10 year old twins to our 22 year old. We have 2 in Elementary School, 2 in Middle School, one in High School, and one High School grad. They are all incredible and special. One of our boys has special needs. I'm a musician, singer, writer, composer, blogger, and teacher. I'm thankful for our home and family, for Travis, my amazing husband of 39 years, and for family and friends near and far. Most of all, I'm thankful for God's grace and mercy and that He has given the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.

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Giving a Song to say “Thank You”

Travis L. Boyd / WorshipSounds Music

Travis L. Boyd / WorshipSounds Music

As a follower of Jesus Christ, a husband and a father of 7, and a Minister of Music and Worship, I am very blessed. For a total of 32 years, I have served as a Minister of Worship for some wonderful congregations in the states of Oklahoma, Texas, and Georgia. It is a joy to lead God's people in worshipping Him through music, and I am very blessed to serve at First Baptist Church of Duluth, Georgia. I'm also a composer, lyricist, arranger, and orchestrator, with choral anthems, songs, and orchestrations published by Shawnee Press (now with Hal Leonard), Lorenz, Choristers Guild, and Lifeway. My web-based music publishing site, WorshipSounds Music (formerly Boydbrain Music), offers Choral Anthems, Orchestrations, Congregational Praise, and Vocal Solo music. Our worship blog has become an extension of worship ministry, and it is a privelege to share information and inspiration with other worshippers. My desire is to glorify God through my life, ministry, and composition work. I believe that music is a wonderful way to communicate the truths of God's love and mercy and to glorify Him. My wife, Cindy, and I have been married for 36 years. We have 7 children. Daughter Meredith lives in Texas. Sons Jared, Zachary, Braden, Logan, Austin, and Camden range in age from 7 to 19 and are still living at home.

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