This is Christmas

Do you find it hard to sleep tonight,
resting by the Christmas lights?
Could there be something you forgot…?
Beyond the bows and mistletoe,
the tree with presents wrapped below,
there’s more to this that you had ever thought…

Have we lost the reason that we celebrate each year?

What is Christmas if there never was a Savior wrapped in a manger?
What is Christmas without Christ…?

Remember how the story goes:
God’s Gift was wrapped in swaddling clothes
beneath a star one great and holy night…
The shepherds heard the angels sing,
the wise men brought an offering.
Peace on Earth began in Bethlehem!

Have we lost the reason that we celebrate each year?

What is Christmas if there never was a Savior wrapped in a manger?
What is Christmas if the angels never sang glory to the newborn King?
What is Christmas without Christ?

[There’d be no…]
Gloria in excelsis Deo*!

What is Christmas if there never was a Savior wrapped in a manger
What is Christmas without Christ…?

This is Christmas: it’s all about the Savior wrapped in the manger!
This is Christmas, because of Jesus Christ!
This is Christmas, because of Christ!

~ Written & performed by:  Kutless ~

* “Gloria in excelsis Deo” (Latin for “Glory to God in the highest”) is a Christian hymn, otherwise known as “Angels we have heard on high”.  This is a reference to the angels’ song as they brought the message of Jesus’ birth to the shepherds in the fields:

Luke 2

8  And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.  9  And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.  10  And the angel said unto them, “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  11  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.  12  And this shall be a sign unto you:  ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”  13  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,  14  “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”  15  And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, “Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.”  16  And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.  17  And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.  18  And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.  19  But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.  20  And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
21  And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the Child, His Name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before He was conceived in the womb.

Matthew 2

1  Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,  2  saying, “Where is He that is born King of the Jews?  for we have seen His star in the east, and are come to worship Him.”  3  When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.  4  And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.  5  And they said unto him, “In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,  6  “And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda:  for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.” [Micah 5:2] ”  7  Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.  8  And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, “Go and search diligently for the young Child; and when ye have found Him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship Him also.”  9  When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was.  10  When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.  11  And when they were come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped Him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto Him gifts:  gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.  12  And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.
13  And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, and take the young Child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word:  for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.”  14  When he arose, he took the young Child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:  15  and was there until the death of Herod:  that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, “Out of Egypt have I called My Son.” [Hosea 11:1]
16  Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men.  17  Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy [Jeremiah 31:15] the prophet, saying,  18  “In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.”
19  But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt,  20  Saying, “Arise, and take the young Child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel:  for they are dead which sought the young child’s life.”  21  And he arose, and took the young Child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel.  22  But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judaea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither:  notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee:  23  and he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, “He shall be called a Nazarene.”

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No good thing (Part 2)

Lately, it has been difficult for me to spend time in God’s Word, but yet every time I did, I found that God WANTS to encourage me during this uncertain time in my life.  He is so faithful to give me hope when I read His Word, I have felt that (at this phase in my life) it really doesn’t matter where I read – just as long as I do.  He will give me something to hold on to even though I don’t have a Bible Reading Plan at this moment.  (I think a good place to start if you also don’t know what to read, is the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John – see what love and compassion Jesus has for people with troubles!)

A few months ago, I posted a meditation about Psalm 84:11.  I am still on that same topic, still holding on to the promise in that verse, that God will withhold NO GOOD THING from those who walk uprightly.  I keep reminding myself that this is true, especially when I feel hopeless in my current situation.  (The enemy works really hard to convince me that God has forgotten about me, and that He does not care about my pain – and so I have to “fight” with the Sword of God’s Word, reminding myself of the Truth that I believe.  See Eph. 6:17.)

“For the LORD God is a sun and shield:  the LORD will give grace and glory:  no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” ~ Psalm 84:11

I have found that, many times, God says the same thing over and over in His Word, and He has really used this repetition of His promises to encourage me when I start questioning whether this verse above is true for me.

“Ask, and it shall be given you;  seek, and ye shall find;  knock, and it shall be opened unto you:  for every one that asketh receiveth;  and he that seeketh findeth;  and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.  Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?  Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?  If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him?” ~ Jesus speaking in Matthew 7:7-11

The Bible is full of stories of people who expectantly waited for the fulfillment of a promise from God.  Just think of Abraham and Sarah (Gen. 15:46), Joseph (Gen. 37:9), the whole of Israel as slaves in Egypt (Gen. 15:13-16, Ex. 3:7), King David (1 Sam. 16:13, 2 Sam. 5:4-5), and then Israel waited again on the promised Saviour (Is. 53:11), to name just a few examples.  I, for one, can definitely relate to this waiting on the fulfillment of God’s promises.

Yet, as Joshua testified after Israel had been taken to Canaan’s land after experiencing MANY miracles, I believe that I will also one day look back, and confess that “not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spake concerning youall are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof.” ~ Joshua 23:14

I hope that this will encourage you today, as it encouraged me.  There are many more verses that speak about the GOOD THINGS that God has planned for us, and I can recommend that you will use a Bible App (e-Sword, YouVersion, etc.) to search out His promises and to be encouraged by it.  God is so faithful and (very much) able to perform what He plans for each of us.

“For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what He hath prepared for him that waiteth for Him.” ~ Isaiah 64:4

“But as it is written, “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.” ~ 1 Corinthians 2:9

“Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think…” ~ Ephesians 3:20

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you,” saith the LORD, “thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected [hopeful] end.” ~ Jeremiah 29:11

God bless each of you.

© blessedbeyondmeasure3.wordpress.com

Blessings

We pray for blessings, we pray for peace, (Psalm 67:1, Psalm 122:6)
comfort for family, protection while we sleep; (Matthew 5:4, Psalm 4:8)
We pray for healing, for prosperity, (Mark 5:23, Psalm 118:25)
we pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering… (Psalm 9:13, 2 Chronicles 6:32-33)

And all the while, You hear each spoken need…  (2 Chronicles 20:9, Exodus 3:7)
Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things.  (Ephesians 3:19-20)

‘Cause what if Your blessings come through rain drops?
What if Your healing comes through tears?  (Psalm 56:8)
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near?  (Hebrews 13:5)
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise? 

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear;  (James 1:5, Hebrews 3:15)
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near…  (Psalm 27:7)
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love  (Matthew 14:31, Matthew 28:17)
as if every promise from Your Word is not enough!  (Joshua 23:14, Hebrews 10:23)

And all the while, You hear each desperate plea  (Exodus 22:23, Psalm 40:1)
and long that we’d have faith to believe…  (Mark 5:36, 9:23, 11:24, John 11:26)

Chorus

When friends betray us, when darkness seems to win, we know  (Luke 22:48, John 3:19)
that pain reminds this heart that this is not, this is not our home!  (Hebrews 11:13-16)
It’s not our home!

‘Cause what if Your blessings come through rain drops?
What if Your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near?

What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life  (Proverbs 13:12)
is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy?  (John 4:13-14)
What if trials of this life, the rain, the storms, the hardest nights,
are your mercies in disguise?

~ Written and performed by:  Laura Story ~

Jeremiah 29:11
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you,” saith the LORD, “thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”

Romans 8:28
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.”

Further reading:  Heavenly perspective

Remember Who you belong to!

When you feel like you can’t handle the task and you ask yourself:  “Who’s your Daddy?” You can feel secure – not because of you, but because of Who you belong to.  Remember Who He is, and that you belong to Him:

He is the First and Last, the Beginning and the End.  (Revelation 22:13)  He’s the keeper of creation and the Creator of all.  (Genesis 1:1, John 1:3, 2 Peter 3:7)  He’s the architect of the universe and the Manager of all times.  (Psalms 8:3, 147:4)  He always was, always is, always will be (Hebrews 13:8) – unmoved, unchanged, undefeated and never undone.  He was bruised, but brought healing.  He was pierced, but eases pain.  He was persecuted, but brought freedom.  He was dead and brings life.  He has risen to bring power and He reigns to bring peace.  (Isaiah 53:3-5, 61:1-3)

The world can’t understand Him.  Armies can’t defeat Him.  Schools can’t explain Him.  And leaders… they can’t ignore Him.  Herod couldn’t kill Him;  Nero couldn’t crush Him;  the New Age cannot replace Him, and Oprah cannot explain Him away.

Remind yourself that He is Light; (John 8:12) He is Love; (1 John 4:8) He is longevity and He is the LORD!  (Philippians 2:11)  He is goodness and kindness and faithfulness, and He is God!  (Exodus 34:6) He is holy and righteous, powerful and pure.  (Psalm 145:17, 29:4)  His ways are right, His Word eternal, His Will unchanging, and His Mind is on us!  (Deuteronomy 32:4, John 6:68, Malachi 3:6, Psalm 115:12)  He’s our Saviour, our Guide, our Peace, our Joy, our Comfort, our LORD, and He rules our lives.  (Matthew 18:11, Luke 2:11, Psalm 48:14, Isaiah 9:6, John 15:11, John 14:16, Psalm 103:19)

I serve Him because His bond is love, His yoke is easy, His burden is light, and His goal for us is abundant life.  (Colossians 3:14, Matthew 11:30, John 10:10)  I follow Him because He’s the Wisdom of the wise, the Power of the powerful, the Ancient of Days, the Ruler of rulers, the Leader of all leaders!  (Proverbs 8:12-35, Revelation 7:12, Daniel 7:9, 7:22, John 19:11, Romans 13:1)

His goal is a relationship with me…  (John 3:16, Revelation 3:20, John 15:14)

He’ll never leave you, never forsake you, never mislead you, never forget you, never overlook you, and never cancel your appointment in His appointment Book.  Never!  (Hebrews 13:5, Isaiah 49:16, Jeremiah 29:11, Ephesians 1:6)

When you fall, He’ll lift you up.  When you fail, He’ll forgive you.  When you’re weak, He’s strong.  When you’re lost, He’s your way.  When you’re afraid, He’s your courage.  When you stumble, He will steady you.  When you’re hurt, He’s gonna heal you.  When you’re broken, He will mend you.  When you’re blind, He will lead you.  When you’re hungry, He will feed you.  When you face trials, He is with you!  (Psalm 147:6, Psalm 103:3, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, John 14:6, Joshua 1:9, Proverbs 3:23, Malachi 4:2, Psalm 34:18, Psalm 23:3, Isaiah 42:16, John 6:51, John 4:10, Matthew 28:20)

When I face persecution, He shields me.  When I face problems, He will comfort me.  When I face loss, He will provide for me.  And when we face death, He will carry us all Home to meet Him!  (Psalm 33:20, Psalm 23:4, Philippians 4:19, Isaiah 40:11, 46:4)

He is everything, for everybody, everywhere, every time, and in every way!  (Ephesians 1:21-23)

He is your God, and THAT is Who you belong to!

~Taken from sermon by Priscilla Shirer ~

Overcomer

Staring at a stop sign, watching people drive by,
t-Mac on the radio…
Got so much on your mind, nothing’s really going right,
looking for a ray of hope…  (Psalm 130:7)

Whatever it is you may be going through,
I know He’s not gonna let it get the best of you!  (1 Cor. 10:13)

You’re an overcomer!  Stay in the fight ‘til the final round!  (1 Cor. 9:24)
You’re not going under, ‘cause God is holding you right now!  (John 10:29)
You might be down for a moment, feeling like it’s hopeless –
that’s when He reminds you that you’re an overcomer…
You’re an overcomer!

Everybody’s been down, hit the bottom, hit the ground…
Ooh, you’re not alone!  (1 Peter 5:8-10, Matt. 28:20)
Just take a breath, don’t forget, hang on to His promises –
He wants You to know:

Chorus

The same Man, the Great I am, the One who overcame death,
He’s living inside of You!  (John 11:25-26, 1 Cor. 15:54-57)
So just hold tight, fix your eyes on the One who holds your life –  (John 10:29)
there’s nothing He can’t do!  (Matt. 28:18, Col. 2:9, Eph. 1:20-23)
He’s telling you:

(Take a breath, don’t forget, hang on to His promises…)
(2 Peter 3:9, Rom. 4:21, 2 Cor. 1:20, Titus 1:2, Heb. 6:15, Heb. 10:23)

Chorus

Don’t quit, don’t give in, you’re an overcomer!

~ Written by:  David A. Garcia, Benjamin Glover, and Christopher E. Stevens
Performed by:  Mandisa ~

John 16:33
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace.  In the world ye shall have tribulation:  but be of good cheer;  I have overcome the world.” ~ Jesus Christ

Romans 12:21 
“Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.”

1 John 4:4
“Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them:  because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.”

1 John 5:4-5 
“For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world:  and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.  Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?”

Revelation 12:11
“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”

Revelation 17:14 
“These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them:  for He is Lord of lords, and King of kings:  and they that are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful.”

It is well

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

It is well with my soul,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!—
My sin, not in part, but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!

And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

~ Written by:  Horatio G. Spafford ~

2 Kings 4:8-37
And it fell on a day, that Elisha passed to Shunem, where was a great woman; and she constrained him to eat bread.  And so it was, that as oft as he passed by, he turned in thither to eat bread.  9 And she said unto her husband, “Behold now, I perceive that this is an holy man of God, which passeth by us continually.  10 Let us make a little chamber, I pray thee, on the wall; and let us set for him there a bed, and a table, and a stool, and a candlestick: and it shall be, when he cometh to us, that he shall turn in thither.”  11 And it fell on a day, that he came thither, and he turned into the chamber, and lay there. 12 And he said to Gehazi his servant, “Call this Shunammite.”  And when he had called her, she stood before him.  13 And he said unto him, “Say now unto her, Behold, thou hast been careful for us with all this care; what is to be done for thee? wouldest thou be spoken for to the king, or to the captain of the host?” And she answered, “I dwell among mine own people.”  14 And he said, “What then is to be done for her?”  And Gehazi answered, “Verily she hath no child, and her husband is old.”  15 And he said, “Call her.”  And when he had called her, she stood in the door. 16 And he said, “About this season, according to the time of life, thou shalt embrace a son.”  And she said, “Nay, my lord, thou man of God, do not lie unto thine handmaid.”  17 And the woman conceived, and bare a son at that season that Elisha had said unto her, according to the time of life.  18 And when the child was grown, it fell on a day, that he went out to his father to the reapers.  19 And he said unto his father, “My head, my head.”  And he said to a lad, “Carry him to his mother.”  20 And when he had taken him, and brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees till noon, and then died.  21 And she went up, and laid him on the bed of the man of God, and shut the door upon him, and went out.  22 And she called unto her husband, and said, “Send me, I pray thee, one of the young men, and one of the asses, that I may run to the man of God, and come again.”  23 And he said, “Wherefore wilt thou go to him to day? it is neither new moon, nor sabbath.”  And she said, “It shall be well.”  24 Then she saddled an ass, and said to her servant, “Drive, and go forward; slack not thy riding for me, except I bid thee.”  25 So she went and came unto the man of God to mount Carmel. And it came to pass, when the man of God saw her afar off, that he said to Gehazi his servant, “Behold, yonder is that Shunammite:  26 Run now, I pray thee, to meet her, and say unto her, Is it well with thee? is it well with thy husband? is it well with the child?”  And she answered, “It is well.”  27 And when she came to the man of God to the hill, she caught him by the feet: but Gehazi came near to thrust her away. And the man of God said, “Let her alone; for her soul is vexed within her: and the Lord hath hid it from me, and hath not told me.”  28 Then she said, “Did I desire a son of my lord? did I not say, Do not deceive me?”  29 Then he said to Gehazi, “Gird up thy loins, and take my staff in thine hand, and go thy way: if thou meet any man, salute him not; and if any salute thee, answer him not again: and lay my staff upon the face of the child.”  30 And the mother of the child said, “As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee.”  And he arose, and followed her.  31 And Gehazi passed on before them, and laid the staff upon the face of the child; but there was neither voice, nor hearing. Wherefore he went again to meet him, and told him, saying, “The child is not awaked.”  32 And when Elisha was come into the house, behold, the child was dead, and laid upon his bed.  33 He went in therefore, and shut the door upon them twain, and prayed unto the Lord .  34 And he went up, and lay upon the child, and put his mouth upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands: and he stretched himself upon the child; and the flesh of the child waxed warm.  35 Then he returned, and walked in the house to and fro; and went up, and stretched himself upon him: and the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes.  36 And he called Gehazi, and said, “Call this Shunammite.”  So he called her.  And when she was come in unto him, he said, “Take up thy son.”  37 Then she went in, and fell at his feet, and bowed herself to the ground, and took up her son, and went out.

Unworthy of the Blood

I know not why the Sovereign King would leave His throne on High
to dwell here in this barren land with mortals, such as I…
He left His home in Paradise, oh why, I’ll never know…
but His precious Blood has made me purer than the virgin snow!

Here am I, so unworthy of the Blood
Unworthy of the Blood that sets me free!
Here am I, so unworthy of the Blood,
and yet, it flowed for me…

For every time I falter and I bring the Father shame,
a droplet of His precious Blood then falls upon my name…
I’ll never know the reason why this thing has come to be,
all I know is that He did it, just for you and me!

~ Written by:  Jeff Ross
Performed by:  Jimmy Swaggart ~

Ephesians 1:7
“In Whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace…”

Ephesians 2:13
“But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.”

Colossians 1:14, 20
“In Whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins…  And, having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.”

1 Peter 1:18-19
“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;  But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot…”

1 John 1:7
“But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.”

Revelation 12:11
“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”

I am

There’s no space that His love can’t reach;
There’s no place that we can’t find peace;
There’s no end to Amazing Grace…

Take me in with Your arms spread wide;
Take me in like an orphan child:
Never let go, never leave my side!

I am, holding on to You.
I am, holding on to You.
In the middle of the storm,
I am holding on, I am!

Love like this, oh, my God, to find!
I am overwhelmed:  what a joy divine!
Love like this sets our hearts on fire!

Chorus

This is my resurrection song;
This is my “Hallelujah, come!”
This is why it’s to You I run!

There’s no space that His love can’t reach;
There’s no place that we can’t find peace;
There’s no end to Amazing Grace…

I AM, holding on to you.
I AM, holding on to you.
In the middle of the storm,
I AM holding on:  I AM!

~ Written by:  David Crowder
Album:  Neon Steeple ~

Exodus 3:14
And God said unto Moses, “I AM THAT I AM”: and He said, “Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.”

John 8:58
Jesus said unto them, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.”

Longsuffering

“The Greek word makro (which gives us the English prefix macro ) means “large” or “long.” The root word thumos means “temper.” Therefore makrothumia literally means long-tempered, the opposite of short-tempered or having a short fuse.
~ Don Hooser, The Fruit of the Spirit – Longsuffering:  A Fusion of Patience and Power!

The Hebrew word for longsuffering is aw-rake’, derived from the root word aw-rak’ (meaning to be long, make long, lengthen, etc.), and is translated as long [-suffering, -winged], patient, slow [to anger].  (e-Sword, Strong’s Dictionary)

Exodus 34
6  And the LORD passed by before him [Moses], and proclaimed, “The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,  7  Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty;  visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.”

Galatians 5
22  “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,  23  Meekness, temperance…”

Colossians 1
10  “That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;  11  Strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;  12  Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:  13  Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son:  14  In whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins…”

1 Corinthians 13
4  “Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,  5  Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;  6  Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;  7  Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.  8  Charity never faileth…”

Psalm 145
8  The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.  9  The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.

Proverbs 16
32  He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.

Ecclesiastes 7
8  Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.

Ephesians 4
1  “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,  2  With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;  3  Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

Colossians 3
12  “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;  13  Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.  14  And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.  15  And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.”

2 Peter 3
9  “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.  10  But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.  11  Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness…  15  And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation…”

You are what you are for a reason

You are who you are for a reason.
You’re part of an intricate plan.
You’re a precious and perfect unique design,
Called God’s special woman or man.

You look like you look for a reason.
Our God made no mistake.
He knit you together within the womb.
You’re just what He wanted to make.

The parents you had were the ones He chose,
And no matter how you may feel,
They were custom-designed with God’s plan in mind,
And they bear the Master’s seal.

No, that trauma you faced was not easy.
And God wept that it hurt you so;
But it was allowed to shape your heart
So that into His likeness you’d grow.

You are who you are for a reason,
You’ve been formed by the Master’s rod.
You are who you are, beloved,
Because there is a God!

~ Written by:  Russell Kelfer ~

Psalm 139:13-16
“For Thou hast possessed my reins: Thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.  I will praise Thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are Thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.  My substance was not hid from Thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.  Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in Thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.”

Genesis 1:27, 31
“So God created man in His Own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them. …  And God saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.”

Jeremiah 29:11
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”

1 Peter 2:9
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light…”