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Advent 2016

My apologies for falling behind on our Advent 2016 devotions. I’ve missed them. But sometimes life gets in the way of our good intentions, causing us to fail at the things we value most.

I have, however, found the time to create a short time-lapse art video to wish you a blessed Christmas.

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.

(Isaiah 9:6 NIV)

Advent 2016 Day 9

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. (Isaiah 11:1)

Read: Isaiah 11:1-10

No Greater Love

 

Jesse was the grandson of Ruth and the father of King David to whom God promised one of his heirs would reign over Israel forever. But David’s immediate heirs proved rebellious and corrupt. Isaiah prophesied about a “Branch” coming forth out of Jesse’s roots who would rule, not only Israel, but the entire world.

Jesus’ genealogy can be traced back to Jesse from Mary as well as Joseph. Usually, women were not mentioned in bloodlines, but God preserved the bloodline of Mary to eliminate any doubt that Jesus was the one of whom the prophets spoke.

Today: Hail King Jesus!

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

Advent 2016 Day 8

“Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a guardian-redeemer.” (Ruth 4:14)

Read: Ruth 3:1-11; 4:9-10

Jesus Loves Even Me

Jesus Loves Even Me

After the death of her husband, Ruth decided to leave her home and family to follow her mother-in-law, Naomi, also widowed, back to Bethlehem. With no men to take care of them, Naomi sent Ruth to glean what she could from a relative’s field as was the custom of the culture. Ruth did as she was told and soon gained the attention of the field’s owner , Boaz. He made daily provisions for the widows, indicating his interest in Ruth.

Again, Naomi instructed Ruth in the Israelite customs, telling her to go to Boaz at night and sleep at his feet. Boaz knew Ruth was asking him to be her guardian-redeemer and agreed to settle the matter in the morning. Becoming Ruth’s guardian-redeemer meant Boaz agreed to buy Naomi’s deceased husband’s property and marry Ruth. Thus, Boaz committed to taking care of and providing for both Naomi and Ruth for life.

In comparison, Jesus is our guardian-redeemer. He has redeemed us and calls us His own. In Him, we have all we need for this life and for eternity.

Today, let’s find ways to honor our guardian-redeemer.

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

 

 

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 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 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Z is for Zest

I was so proud of myself. I actually kept up with the daily Advent blog. Up until the very last day that is. Blame it on too many activities the week between Christmas and New Years Day, but the truth of the matter is, I procrastinated. Sorry.

Nevertheless, this post is timely in that it applies to the New Year.

Z is for Zest

And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them. (Luke 2:20)

The Hope of His ReturnAll the biblical heroes we looked at through the month of December approached their appointed tasks with zest. They had down times and even rebelled. But when the moment of truth presented itself, God’s chosen vessels excelled at the undertakings place before them by God. From Adam to Noah, from Joseph to Moses, from the judges to the kings, each faced trials. Each celebrated victories. And along the way, they serviced God with zest.

The events of the birth of Christ reveal the same attitude of enthusiasm toward the Lord’s plan as what we see in the Old Testament leading up to His first advent.

Throughout His life, Jesus did all things with zest. He possessed enthusiasm and joy that was catching to His followers. He commissioned the disciples to tell the world of all they had seen and experienced while they walked with Him. And they did so with zest.

The torch of the gospel has been passed down through the generations to us. Christians have the responsibility to tell the world of Jesus’ atonement for sin and his Second Advent. Let us approach our calling with the same amount of zest we’ve found in the faithful of the past.

We are at the cusp of a New Year—a new beginning. Instead of making a list of resolutions we’re sure to break in a week or two, why not set one goal? Draw closer to God. If we He seek Him in every aspect of life, all things will fall into place. And if you’re one to choose a word for the year, let it be “zest.”

How about you? What reminds you of Jesus that begins with the letter Z?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks