Thursday, December 24, 2015

BEAUTIFUL AND GLORIOUS

Today’s Reading: Isaiah 3-5

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

This is a great picture for Christmas Eve! The actors of Nazareth Village do their best to bring the Gospels to life. Their motive is that all who visit will believe in Jesus as did the Shepherds. Let us come to worship Him too. The “Branch of the Lord shall be beautiful and glorious!” (Isaiah 4:2). The Baby is “The Branch.” The original meaning of the word translated “Branch” may have been “Bud.” A bud is a baby branch. Merry Christmas!!!

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verses: Isaiah 4:2

In that day the Branch of the Lord shall be beautiful and glorious; And the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and appealing for those of Israel who have escaped.

 

Isaiah 3 could be depressing if not for the promise of our key verse. The actual destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians was still over 100 years away, but on the road to destruction (the people’s fault, not God’s) there would be famine, incompetent and corrupt leaders, chaos and gross sin.

The warnings in Chapter 4 give way to messages of hope. At some future time, Zion will prosper under the beautiful reign of “The Branch.” This is a term which refers to the rule of the “Messiah.” As Christians, we believe that “Branch-Messiah” is Jesus, whose birth we celebrate!!!

In Chapter 5 the word “woe” is repeated 6 times. The “woe” of “intoxicating drink” is referenced twice! Let’s pay attention to that one and act accordingly this Christmas. Other woes are selfishness, greed, materialism, the reversing of standards of behaviour, pride and injustice. “Woe” is the result of rejecting the Covenant, a most solemn and binding legal agreement, made between God and the human family. Jesus was born to turn “woe” into something “beautiful, glorious…excellent and appealing!” (Isaiah 4:2). God came to us, as Elizabeth, the cousin of the Virgin Mary said, “to take away my reproach!” (Luke 1:25). Click here to read Luke, chapters 1 & 2 on Christmas Eve.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, may I perceive the beauty and glory of “The Branch of the Lord” in all the fulness of His Person. May I, because of Your redemption, make the fruit of the earth, the redeemed of the Lord, more beautiful and appealing to others. Through Jesus Christ, I pray that I will daily run farther and farther away from sin, escaping forever from its clutches! In Your all-powerful Name I pray, Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

In Isaiah 5:1 the prophet gives some personal words from God! “Let Me sing for My well-beloved a love song.” As I type these words, Norma-Jean is still sleeping, but when she awakes I’m inspired to sing her a love song. It will be our favourite called, “Unforgetable.” Singer Nat King Cole sang it so beautifully, and I’ll be a poor excuse for his voice, but It’s the thought that counts.

I remember childhood Christmases. I have such warm thoughts of the wood fire in the box stove and the little candles clipped onto the freshly cut Christmas tree branches, which gave light in the parlour. Yes, the flames near the branches could’ve been dangerous, but the tree was fresh (cut and decorated Christmas  Eve), and we were careful. We’ve proven that we can, if necessary, get along without electricity, but we know for sure that we cannot get along without the One born in Bethlehem, whose birth we celebrate. He is “A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles.” I’m one of them! He is my “Light!” (Luke 2:32a).

Yours in “beautiful and glorious” celebration of Christ’s birth!

David

P.S. In the picture below, I’m on the roof of the Bethlehem City Hall. We’re overlooking Manger Square. What is perhaps the world’s tallest (artificial) Christmas tree was in the process of being decorated when we took this photo on November 25th. Directly over the top of the tree is the Church of the Nativity. The cave/stable where Jesus was born is just underneath the church. The continuity of the families of the shepherds and the relatives of Joseph make this spot believable. Do you see the red roof next door to the Nativity Church? That’s St. Catherine’s Church. You may see midnight Mass from there on Christmas Eve as this service is carried every year around the world on TV. Also, click here for #4 in the TV specials I hosted from Bethlehem. They are being carried on YES TV Monday through Friday this week at 10:30 p.m.

14 thoughts on “Thursday, December 24, 2015

  1. April 16, 1995 the Lord removed smokes/alcohol from me! Never had a craving of any kind! My friend Eva spoke these words over me “we have the Holy Spirit that enables us to do more than we ever dreamt” we were down at the beach and I threw the smokes into the water! I thank God for this several times each waking hour in the day! I would not be here if God had not done this for me! 10 days after this miracle happened to me I broke my leg and God took that and turned it into me learning to swim and I have been swimming for the past 20 years! God has done many miracles in my life but those 2 seem to have affected me the most!
    I pray the Lord will help those who are wanting to change their lives and discard their addictions! All I can do is share my story and pray for others!
    Mr. Mainse you look very happy and healthy, God bless your wife! I think singing her a song when she awakes is so romantic! Thank you for this blog and for mentioning about the intoxicating drink! Good reminder!

  2. May all who are reading this blog have a Joyous Christmas and a Blessed New Year. And if your Christmas cannot be merry for whatever reason, remember in Christ in can always be peaceful—for Christmas is about God being with us– and He is and He will never stop, no matter what it is happening– and that is where our peace comes from– Amen

  3. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. This Site is a true gift from God, the gift that keeps on giving all year long. Blessings to all.

  4. May all who participate in 100words.ca have a blessed Christmas and Shalom for the new year which means more than peace but completeness, wholeness, well-being, and welfare.

  5. Merry Christmas, David and Norma-Jean Mainse, your family members, and all the staff at Crossroads Ministry and 100 Huntley Street. Sunday evening, I went with friends to Kingston Gospel Temple to watch The Nativity Story (2006); Keisha Castle-Hughes, Oscar Isaac. The movie is a depiction of Luke 1-2 and was incredible. Reading it just now, rekindled the entire movie. God’s blessings to all saints, on this special day, of Christmas Eve!

    Let Us Adore, Elevation Worship
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mpEyyl0DCdA

    • The photo of the manger is incredible, and yes, so fitting for Christmas Eve! The “Branch of the Lord shall be beautiful and glorious!” (Isaiah 4:2) We are all branches of Christ, as Christians. Amen!

  6. Just wanted to thank you for sharing God’s Word and your experiences with me each day. I’ve learned much. Wishing you and yours The Best Christmas Yet. God Bless!

  7. PRAISE GOD FOR THE BEAUTIFUL AND GLORIOUS BRANCH ….OUR MESSIAH…JESUS CHRIST WHO CAME TO SAVE US FROM ALL SIN…IN HIM WE HAVE ETERNAL LIFE!!!! JESUS CHRIST…THE HOPE OF GLORY.
    WHO CAME TO SHOW US THE WAY TO THE FATHER…TO OPEN PRISON DOORS AND SET THE CAPTIVE FREE. PRAISE HIS HOLY NAME FOR EVER AND EVER!!!

    Thank you David for that powerful pray…I prayed in agreement with you.!!!

    Thank you saints for the blessings you extended to me re my travel to be with my son…the blessing was answered as I was upgraded to a “first class”.

    A Very Merry Christmas to all …and a Blessed New Year

  8. Thank you, David, for your ongoing messages of inspiration! Continuing to pray for you and Norma-Jean. You both mean so much to me and so many others.

    With much love and appreciation,

    Karen S.

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