Christmas Week – The Cast: JESUS

He was

and is

and is to come

 

Always God,

never began

 

Infinitely wise

 

He,

Father

Son

Holy Spirit

 

– One together –

chose us

 

before the beginning of the world

 

And He knew of the sacrifice

before He even made us

 

The selfless

and the painful

sacrifice

 

for we would need rescuing

before all was said and done

 

And, God,

in relationship with Himself

 

gave us His Son

and told us He would be called Jesus

 

for He would be the Salvation

everyone would need

 

He would save us all

from our sins

 

And we would not hold Him

in high esteem

 

nor love Him like we should

 

He would be introduced into this world

in the humblest way

 

for that is His nature,

humble of spirit

 

And the angels who have always known Him

marveled that He would

 

do this thing

for those such as us

 

The angels would praise

and glorify

and announce the King who was a child!

 

And prepare those closest

to this infant

 

so they would know the gravity

of the appearance of God

 

But non could have fathomed

the greatness

and boundless love

 

of this One and only God

made flesh

 

Before time, His was the earth

as His footstool

 

His was heaven beautiful

and pure

 

His was the universe

and everything in it

 

and yet…

 

He became nothing,

poured out for all

 

And so,

He is Jesus

 

The greatest of The Cast

in this true story

 

Tiny baby human

completely Divine

 

But, hear this!

 

The next cast member

is you!

 

for you are part of this story as well

the story of humanity in time

 

seen by an infinite God

 

What will you do with this Savior

of all mankind?

 

There is no neutral,

for He came for all

 

You must choose to accept

or your choice is already made

 

Choose Jesus’ love,

dear friend

 

Choose the One

who came for you

 

 

– Susie Stewart

 

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

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. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 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.

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

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

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.”

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen Him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

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.

– Luke 2:1-21 (NIV)

 

The people walking in darkness
    have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
    a light has dawned.

– Isaiah 9:2 (NIV)

 

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.
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 (NIV)

 

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

– John 3:16 (NIV)

 

Who, being in very nature God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage;
rather, He made himself nothing
    by taking the very nature of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
    He humbled himself
    by becoming obedient to death—
        even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place
    and gave Him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

– Philippians 2:6-11 (NIV)

 

 

He was despised and rejected by mankind,
    a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
    He was despised, and we held Him in low esteem.

– Isaiah 53:3 (NIV)

 

Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes.

– Ephesians 1:4 (NLT)

 

 

 

 

 

Big

You are big enough

to create an endless universe

 

with words and will

 

You are big enough

to have Your eye on billions of souls

 

always

 

You are big enough

to hold everything and everyone

 

in Your hand

 

and yet

You are mine

 

You hold everything together

and all the while, You speak tenderly to my heart

 

You are big

beyond comprehension

 

but You love

one-on-one

 

personally

in the closest way

 

as if You were not so big

 

but I’m glad You are

for that is why

 

I can trust you with the small

 

– Susie Stewart

 
God stretches the northern sky over empty space
and hangs the earth on nothing.

He wraps the rain in His thick clouds,
and the clouds don’t burst with the weight.

He covers the face of the moon,
shrouding it with His clouds.

He created the horizon when He separated the waters;
He set the boundary between day and night.
The foundations of heaven tremble;
they shudder at His rebuke.
By His power the sea grew calm.
By His skill He crushed the great sea monster.
His Spirit made the heavens beautiful,
and His power pierced the gliding serpent.
These are just the beginning of all that He does,
merely a whisper of His power.
Who, then, can comprehend the thunder of His power?

– Job 26:7-14 (NLT)

 

When I look at the night sky and see the work of Your fingers—
the moon and the stars You set in place—
what are mere mortals that you should think about them,
human beings that You should care for them?

– Psalm 8:3,4 (NLT)

 

O Sovereign Lord! You made the heavens and earth by your strong hand and powerful arm. Nothing is too hard for you!

– Jeremiah 32:17 (NLT)

 

Photo by Arik Stewart

 

You Are Here

You are HERE.

 

Not over there

or over there

or even over there.

 

You are here.

 

And there is purpose in that.

 

God is looking at His map of the world

and He sees you

and you might think

that your “You Are Here” arrow is so small

and insignificant

that God couldn’t possibly notice

 

that you are here

 

Swallowed up by 7.1. billion people…

 

But He does.

 

He not only sees you,

He designed the map

He placed you on it

He created you

for this moment, this season, this place.

 

God has the aerial view

God has the on-the-ground view

God has the in-your-heart view

 

He sees with eyes ever open.

 

He sees you

He sees all of us.

 

And He is able to love each one.

Completely.

 

And He knows….

the suffering

the joy

the pain

the circumstances

 

He was the one that placed your “You Are Here” sticker on the map.

Lovingly

Deliberately

Creatively

For such a time as this.

 

And He longs for you to place a “You are Here” sticker

on your heart

for Him.

 

Because that’s where He belongs

and that’s what gives you purpose

on this great big map

in this great big universe

when a whole lot of things don’t make sense.

 

You are HERE.

Make it count.

– Susie Stewart

 

“And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”  Esther 4:14 (NIV)

 

“This is the plan,
planned for the whole earth,
And this is the hand that will do it,
reaching into every nation.
God-of-the-Angel-Armies has planned it.
Who could ever cancel such plans?
His is the hand that’s reached out.
Who could brush it aside?”    Isaiah 14:26,27 (MSG)