Advent 2016 Day 6

 And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose. (Romans 8:28 AMP)

Read: Genesis 37:1-36

Almighty God is He

Almighty God is He

It’s not hard to recognize Joseph as a type of Christ. Joseph was ridiculed, beaten, and betrayed by his brothers just like Jesus had been. Joseph was thrown into prison, which depicts the time Jesus spent in the tomb. When released from prison, Joseph rose in power and became the ruler of Egypt and all his brothers, second only to Pharaoh.

Similarly, when Jesus rose from the grave, He took His place beside God the Father and will someday rule all the nations, including Israel–His brothers.

Today, let’s worship Him for who He is … the sovereign King of the universe.

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

 

Advent 2016 Day 5

“I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” (Genesis 28:15)

Read: Genesis 28:10-22

Angel 1 4 webWhile Jacob slept, he dreamed of angels ascending and descending on a ladder that reached to heaven. God spoke to him, giving him a promise of prosperity and many descendants.

This promise God gave to a man who deceived his father and robbed his twin brother of his inheritance. Jacob had to flee for his life. He had the dream while on his way to Paddan Aram.

There, Jacob took up residence with his mother’s brother Laban. Jacob immediately fell in love with Laban’s daughter Rachel and agreed to work seven years for her to become his wife. However, Laban was a ruthless man, besides it was a disgrace to marry a younger daughter off before the elder according to their customs. So Laban “pulled the wool” over Jacob’s eyes. Poor Jacob got a taste of his own medicine when his bride removed her veil, revealing her identity as Leah, Rachel’s older sister. Although perplexed, Jacob agreed to work seven more years to earn the love of his life. Laban had more schemes up his sleeve to keep Jacob employed for several more years. You see, Laban realized his herds increased because of God’s blessing on Jacob.

Two lessons pop out with Jacob’s life story:

  1. We reap what we sow. Jacob dealt dishonestly and ruthlessly with his brother and father. God taught Jacob a life lesson through Laban’s ruthless behavior. We often get back 10 fold what we hand out to others. God chastises those He loves for the same reasons we punish our children — to build character, compassion, and a sense of fairness.
  2. God keeps His promises in unexpected ways. While Jacob worked for Laban, God prospered both men, but He prospered Jacob more. During this time, the Lord not only taught Jacob valuable lessons in compassion and fairness, but He prepared Jacob to return to the promised land with great wealth.

God always keeps His promises, and very often, He does so in unexpected ways. The Jews believed God would send a deliverer at the time of their persecution during the Roman empire. They just didn’t expect Him to come in manner in which He did.

Today, look for and expect to find surprising answers to your prayers.

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

 

Advent 2016 Day 4

“God will provide a sheep for the burnt offering, my son,” Abraham answered. And they both walked on together. (Genesis 22:8)

Read: Genesis 22:1-14

God’s Provision

Every time I read the account of Abraham preparing to sacrifice Isaac, I wonder if I’d be as obedient and as trusting as Abraham was. He took the promised son to the altar as an offering to God. But in his heart, Abraham believed even if he’d slay Isaac, the Lord would bring him back to life. He trusted God for the promise. And he trusted God to provide all that was needed to hold that promise in place.

God met Abraham’s expectations and provided the necessary ram for the burnt offering. He has also provided the necessary atonement for our sins through Jesus Christ.

We can trust Him to meet our needs far beyond our expectations.

How about you? How has God met your needs today?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

 

Advent 2016 Day 3

 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

Read: Genesis 6:11-14, 7:17-8:3, 9:8-13

From the moment Cain killed Abel to the time of Noah, the evilness of the human soul grew worse. God could no longer overlook the fallen state of His glorious creation. He had determined to destroy the earth and everything in it. Everything, that is, except Noah, his wife, his sons, and their wives. God also preserved a pair of every kind of animal.

Although the word destroyed is used, God didn’t intend to obliterate the earth and all living creatures or He wouldn’t have told Noah to build an ark and take a pair of every living creature into the ark to preserve each species. Therefore, it’s obvious God intended to purge the earth … cleanse it and give humans a new start.

Of course, God had a bigger plan — a plan to purge our hearts and to preserve our souls for eternity.

Jesus is the fulfillment of that plan. When we accept His offer of eternal life, His spirit cleanses us from sin and prepares us for eternity in His kingdom.

How about you? Have you been purged by the blood of the Lamb?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

 

Advent 2016 Day 2

We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:6)

Read: Genesis 3:1-21

The Blood of the LambThe above passage records the fall of man. Yesterday, we saw that humans were created in God’s image … and they were good. Yet, they fell into temptation. God had no choice but to punish them. Thus we live in a corrupt world full of sorrow, disease, and death.

Although God had to punish Adam and Eve for their disobedience, He never stopped loving them. Even in their sinful, shameful state, He provided for them by sacrificing an animal to make them garments to cover their nakedness. While the Bible doesn’t state what kind of animal He sacrificed at the time, I believe it was a lamb because He demanded a lamb be sacrificed as a sin offering when He gave the commandments to Moses. We also know He accepted Abel’s offerings from the first born of his flocks, but not Cain’s offerings of fruits and vegetables.

These sacrifices are the foreshadowing of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross for our sins. He is the Lamb of God worth to be praised (Revelation 5:12-13).

Today, praise the Lamb who willing laid down His life so you and I may live.

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

H is for Honor

“Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!” (Revelations 7:12)

fall-path-4-webThe final letter in our P.A.T.H. acronym is honor. Praise opens the door to Adoration. Adoration leads to Trust. When we learn to trust God, we surrender our lives to Him. At that point, our lives take on a new dimension. We change our thinking to align with His precepts. We strive to do what pleases Him. We want to honor Him with our very existence.

Unfortunately, our human nature, which is in enmity with God, rebels, causing us to bring dishonor to the One we most want to honor. When that happens, God willingly, lovingly forgives us if we confess our failures to Him and seek restitution with Him.

The truly amazing thing about honoring God is He wants to honor us as well by calling us His children. What an honor indeed!

How about you? How do you bring honor to God?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

Advent 2016 Day 1

I’m starting this a little late, but better late than never, right?

I wanted to follow the Jesse Tree idea this year. If you never made a Jesse Tree, you can get some great ideas here: http://www.feelslikehomeblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Jesse-tree1.pdf 

While I’ll be using Scripture provided in the above link, I’ll be writing my own devotions and using my own images and drawings. I pray your preparations for Christmas will be blessed as we journey through this Advent together.

Day 1

In the beginning God (Elohim) created [by forming from nothing] the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1 AMP)

Reading: Genesis 1:26-31; John 1:1-4

In order to understand who Jesus is and why He came, we have to start in the beginning. I hope you took time to read the passages. (I added links to them for your convenience.)

Midnight moonIn the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth and everything in them from nothing. He simply spoke and it happened. Not only that, it was good. On the sixth day, He created humans in His own image … not so much in physical appearance, but rather in spirit and moral ethics. In other words, He created them to be eternal beings and gave them minds from which they could create, plan, and make their own decisions. They had a body, soul, and spirit just like their Creator was/is a three-in-one being.

John expounds on the concept that God the Son, Jesus, was with God the Father at the time of creation. Jesus was the word, was with God, and was God. Through Jesus all things were created. He was also the light of the world, not a created being. He was God from the beginning. If you read the entire account of creation, you’ll discover God created the sun, moon, and stars on the third day. But on the first day, He said, “Let there be light.” Where did that light come from? Jesus, the light of the world. He said so Himself … When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). Paul and John made other references to this fact. 2 Corinthians 4:6; 1 John 1:5-7; Revelation 21:23 and 22:5. (Links provided for you convenience.)

May the Light of the world shine upon you today and throughout this Advent season.

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks