Saturday, December 20, 2014

Greater is He

I woke up this morning with the song "Greater is He living inside of me than he who is living in the world" sounding in the ears of my mind. And, then, a bit later, I heard Mercy Me singing it on the radio. This song takes these words from 1 John 4:4, where the apostle John wrote:

You are from God, little children, and you have conquered them,
because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. (HCSB)

John goes on to exhort us to remain in Him and keep His commands, the greatest of these being to love, which is a reflection of God's own love for us demonstrated by His sending His Son into the world so that we might live through Him. (1 John 4:9 HCSB)

Praying moms, when we choose to remain in Him, we choose to hear His voice. As Mercy Me's song so aptly puts it, we choose to hear the voice that calls us redeemed. We choose to hear the voice that tells us, "God is love." (1 John 4:16) We choose to have "No Fear," as a common bumper sticker proclaims. This is our confidence because "perfect love drives out fear." (1 John 4:18)

So, we can bring all the voices we wrestle with, the ones of doubt and fear, along with our tears to the Throne. Just like Joseph, we can listen to the voice that told him, "…don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what has been conceived in her is by the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to name Him Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:20-21 HCSB)

We can wake up each morning with the realization that the One living inside of us is greater than anything we will face. We can keep doing the "labor of love" as those who belong to Him because He has all the strength we need to conquer. We can, through faith, conquer the world. We can have confidence in prayer to ask God anything according to His will knowing that He hears us. (1 John 5:4, 14-15 HCSB)

We can proclaim with joy—

The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom
of our Lord and of His Messiah,
and He will reign forever and ever!
Revelation 11:15 (HCSB)

He is GREATER!



Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Parousia

Presence.

That is what Christmas is about—God's presence with us. The best Gift the Giver gives.

Not just His glory, as was in the Jerusalem Temple at one time, but His physical Presence with us in Emmanuel—Jesus our Savior. Additionally, it is about something even greater.

Because of Emmanuel's death and resurrection, we who follow Him, now have His Presence indwelling us. We walk the earth with Him in a more intimate way than our ancestors, Adam and Eve, walked with His Presence in the Garden of Eden. You could say that we who follow Jesus are walking around temples spread across the face of the earth bringing His Presence with us wherever we go. In fact, Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 3:18 that as we behold Him we become more and more likenesses of His glorious Presence.

Going a step further, that is in essence what we do through our prayers. As priests of this age, we bring His Presence into the lives of those for whom we intercede—family, friends, strangers, etc.

But, there is another Presence that the Bible speaks of, One that we often get too distracted by the things of the world to remember and live to. That is His Presence that Paul reminded the Thessalonians about.

For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing?
Is it not even you in the Presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?
1Thessalonians 2: 19 NKJ

Or put as the Greek translates, "For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing before our Lord Jesus at His coming? Is it not indeed you?" (Mounce) That word "coming" is the word parousia.

Parousia. That is what Christmas is all about. His Presence—now and forevermore.

As you celebrate, remember that just as the Promised Presence came in the form of a baby, His Presence will again step foot on this earth!

All of God’s promises have their yes in him.
That is why we say Amen through him to the glory of God.
2 Corinthians 1:20 (CEB)





Saturday, December 6, 2014