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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

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T is for Trust

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

fall-path-4-web Please forgive me for skipping out on you the past two weeks thereby, dropping the ball on our P.A.T.H acronym. My mother has had some serious mishaps and is now in special care at the local hospital. We covet your prayers for her and the rest of our family.

If you’ve read any of my posts over the past several months, you know our family has been hit pretty hard with health issues this year. And it doesn’t look like the struggles are ending as the year comes to a close.

Nevertheless, we have hope in Jesus Christ, which brings me to today’s letter in our acronym. T is for trust. As we praise God for who He is, we learn to appreciate His attributes in new and higher ways. Praise unfolds adoration. Adoration opens the door to trust.

Trust is a key element in any relationship. But with God, it’s essential. It’s living and growing in us. And like every other living organism, trust must be exercised. We exercise our trust muscles in various ways. However, we reap the greater benefits through trials. When we stand at the edge of the Grand Canyon, facing a momma grizzly bear with three hungry cubs to feed, we either have to trust our parachute and jump or lie down and say, “Dinner is served.”

Sometimes on this path we call life, we have no choice but to trust and jump. Come to think of it, we have to trust God for every breath every day. He supplies our needs. He is the sustainer of the universe. He never fails, is always faithful, and completes the work He has begun in us.

Trials are part of God’s work. As He creates the image of Christ in us, He uses trials, calamities, and yes, health issues to chisel away at our pride, arrogance, and self-centeredness. With those same tools, He softens our hearts, develops compassion, and gives us a testimony of His mercy, grace, and abounding love.

God uses all things for our good to bring about good things for those who love Him and are called to His purpose (Romans 8:28 paraphrased).

It’s difficult to live by that verse at times. But God sends reminders to help us keep our faith as we exercise our trust in Him. Today, He graciously sent me one of those much-needed reminders while I read my devotions. We are able to confidently say, “this day” – with all its troubles – “is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalms 118:24) – The Storytelling God: Seeing the Glory of Jesus in His Parables by Jared C. Wilson.

Mr. Wilson’s words lifted my spirit. With that reminder, I realized the path God has prepared for me is straight and smooth. However, this physical path is full of twists, bumps, and roadblocks. But let’s not be perplexed by the physical, the more important path is the spiritual path that leads to our eternal home. Jesus said He is the way and He knows the way … follow Him. He straightens the path, smooths the bumps, and removes the roadblocks. We can trust Him to lead us to His kingdom.

How about you? How has God reminded you to trust Him more today?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

A is for Adore

 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. (Mark 12:30)

fall-path-with-deer-4-webThe more we praise God the more we fall in love with Him. Remember, praise differs from thanksgiving in that while we thank Him for what He does, we praise Him for who He is. The more we realize who He is the more we adore Him. Which brings us to the second letter in our PATH acronym.

 Adore

How can we not adore, admire, and worship one so lovely as our Father, Savior, and King. The more we meditate on His attributes the more we want to embrace Him. The more we embrace to Him the more we love Him. The more we love Him the more we want to surrender our lives to Him and serve Him.

Love is an overused term in the English language. We tend to say “I love you” or “I love an object” with the same enthusiasm and emotion. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).

Because He demonstrates His love for us through His actions, He expects us to demonstrate our love for Him through our actions. It’s easy to say the words “l love you.” Demonstrating that love, however, is quite another matter. But we must learn to reach out to others, even to our enemies as God has done. It is the only way we have to embrace Him.

How about you? How do you demonstrate your love for God?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

The Gift of Forgiveness

Advent 2014

Day 16

“Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” Luke 7:47

Those who are forgiven much love much

Those who are forgiven much love much

The day I sensed the Lord’s prompting to seek forgiveness from a friend to whom I had spoken unkindly, fears and insecurities crept into my soul. What if she demanded restitution of some sort? What if she totally rejected me? What if…what if I obeyed Christ and placed the outcome in His hands? I finally took up courage and approached my friend. She forgave me. Although our relationship mains somewhat strained, the sweet fragrance of forgiveness fills my soul with gratitude.

Gratitude for forgiveness motivated a sinful woman to wash Jesus’ feet with her tears. Jesus’ host, a Pharisee, hadn’t so much as given Jesus the customary basin of water to wash his own feet …

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Tomorrow, we’ll look at The Gift of Yielding. Prepare by reading and meditating on Matthew 21:1-11.

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K.Hendricks

The Gift of His Presence

Advent 2014

Day 14

A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home.  They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them.  (Mark 2:1-2)

Come into My Presence

Come into My Presence

Several weeks ago, Gene and I stopped in to visit the “grandactives.” I peeked in the door as is my habit before I enter. Two-year-old Eli squealed with excitement at the sight of his Pap’s truck. But when he saw me peeking under the window blind his happy face drooped into a scowl. He turned to his mother and said “Bee” in a very disappointed tone. But the excitement soon returned when Pap entered the room.

Similarly when Jesus entered a village, excitement filled the air. People flocked to the Lord in such large numbers that He often preached on a hillside. Some came seeking …

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Tomorrow, we’ll recap this week’s meditations via an art video.

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

 

The Gift of Trust

Advent 2014

Day 13

 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”  “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. (Matthew 28-29)

???????????????????????????????By the time I met my husband, I had had enough negative experiences to cause me to be suspicious of everyone, even Gene. But he had soothed my skepticism with one word, “I’m telling you the truth. You choice whether or not to believe it.” Wow! I had a choice to make—trust my husband or not. Our future rested on my decision. I chose to trust him. He didn’t let me down. I had a lot of growing to do in order to develop that trust. But the moment I chose to trust Gene, my life changed.

When Jesus told Peter to step out of boat during that horrific storm, Peter had to choice to make—trust the Master or not.

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Tomorrow, we’ll examine the gift of Jesus’ presence. Prepare by studying Mark 2:1-2.

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

 

Humility is a Gift

Advent 2014

Day 10

But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” (Luke 18:16-17)

???????????????????????????????This advent season, I had the opportunity to accompany my almost six-year-old granddaughter to the performance of a live nativity. Her reaction was simply marvelous. When the Roman guards arrested a couple of messiah-seeking Jews, she clung to me unsure if she wanted to proceed. Next the wise men observed the king’s star and decided to go on a journey until they found the place of its rest. Sydney gazed at the “star” with curios wonder. We followed the group into the next room to discover a several shepherds preparing to rescue a lost lamb in the dark. As they discussed the problem, angels appeared above us announcing the birth of the messiah in a small town called Bethlehem. One shepherd said, “Come, let us find this baby the Lord has told us about.” The shepherds rushed out of the room. Sydney was so excited I had to stop her from running after them. And so it went through the entire adventure. Finally, we “found” the baby Jesus lying in a manger, His mother and father standing close-by. Sydney leaned over the rail to get a better look, her eyes filled with adoration and love.

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Tomorrow, we’ll look at another aspect of the example Jesus set for us. Prepare by reading and meditating on Matthew 20:29-34—The Gift of Compassion.

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks