Friday, December 25, 2009

The Gift of Gifts

What shall I render for Thee for the gift of gifts, Thine own dear Son, begotten, not created, my Redeemer, proxy, surety, substitute, His self-emptying incomprehensible, His infinity of love beyond the heart’s grasp.

Herein is wonder of wonders: He came below to raise me above, was born like me that I might become like Him.

Herein is love: when I cannot rise to Him He draws near on wings of grace, to raise me to Himself.

Herein is power: when Deity and humanity were infinitely apart He united them in indissoluble unity, the uncreated and the created.

Herein is wisdom: when I was undone, with no will to return to him, and no intellect to devise recovery, He came, God-incarnate, to save me to the uttermost, as man to die my death, to shed satisfying blood on my behalf, to work out a perfect righteousness for me.

O God, take me in spirit to the watchful shepherds and enlarge my mind; let me hear good tidings of great joy, and hearing, believe, rejoice, praise, adore, my conscience bathed in an ocean of repose, my eyes uplifted to a reconciled Father; place me with ox, ass, camel, goat, to look with them upon my Redeemer’s face, and in Him account myself delivered from sin; let me with Simeon clasp the new-born child to my heart, embrace Him with undying faith, exulting that He is mine and I am His.

In Him Thou hast given me so much that heaven can give no more.

From 'Valley of Vision'

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Mary's Song

Luke 1:46-55

“And Mary said: “My soul exalts the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For he had regard for the humble state of His bond slave; For behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed. For the Mighty One has done great things for me; And holy is His name. And His mercy is upon generation after generation towards those who fear Him.He has done mighty deeds with His arm; He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart. He has brought down rulers from their thrones, and has exalted those who were humble. He has filled the hungry with good things; and has sent away the rich empty-handed. He has given the help to Israel His servant, in remembrance of His mercy, As He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and his descendants forever.”

This is Mary’s song after she visits her cousin Elizabeth and finds that she is with child just as the angel said, confirming that the child within her was the Son of God as the angel had also said. This song gives us a peak into her heart. She speaks of God’s faithfulness and mercy. She knew she was going to be used for the most miraculous and wonderful occurrence ever, but her praise was only for the Lord, for she knew it was not because of her own merit that the Lord chose her. She speaks of His power and authority along with His love and grace. Mary’s song beautifully shows a heart that is used by God. Does that describe our hearts?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

White as Snow!

As I dream of snow and continue to sing the line "I'm dreaming of a white Christmas" in hopes that it will cause the white fluffy stuff to fall from the sky I am reminded of the spiritual analogy of snow.

"... though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow..."
Isaiah 1:18

As we consider the Child that came into the world and we contemplate His birth we need to never lose sight of why Christ came as an infant. The cradle must have the cross and the cross must have a cradle. We need the cross with the cradle. When we accept the cradle and the cross and trust Christ as our substitute, then we will "be white as snow."

..."wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow."
Psalm 51:7

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Jesus' Mother, Mary

"Behold, the handmaiden of the Lord; Be it unto me according to thy word..."
Luke 1:38

This was Mary's response to the news that she was carrying the Savior of the world, the Son of God, Jesus. Can you imagine the fear and uncertainty that Mary was feeling? Here she was a virgin and yet she was carrying a child. She was unmarried and going to have a baby. On top of that, this wasn't just any child... but the Son of God. In the midst of the fear of being addressed by an angel and finding out the incredible news, this was her response. What an example to all of us. When God shows us His will (or even if He doesn't) we can respond, "be it unto me according to Thy word and will, Lord."