Day 20. Gloria in Excelsis Deo

Gloria

Suddenly a great company of heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:13-14 

Imagine the chorus of praise to God from the company of heavenly host!  Could we even dare believe we could take in the sight and sound of the angels giving glory to God and wishing peace on earth to those who receive the gift God has sent?

Glory, splendor and brightness revealing all the goodness that God is, in a baby who will reflect that glory on earth and be our means to also glorify, recognize, honor and praise the Father.  Amazing grace.

The Hebrew word for glory means, heavy in weight.  The angels praised God’s glory, recognizing the weight of His honor.  Their praise gave us a glimpse into the importance of God’s goodness, righteousness and justice, and allows us to respond to the glory of God, His majesty and His divine power with our confession, worship and praise.

Praise be to the Lord God, the God of Israel,
who alone does marvelous deeds.
Praise be to his glorious name forever;
may the whole earth be filled with his glory.
Amen and Amen.
This concludes the prayers of David son of Jesse.  

Psalm 72:18-20

They will neither harm nor destroy
on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.
In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his resting place will be glorious.

Isaiah 11:9-10

This verse from Isaiah 60 was a flicker of light to me long ago, as the light was dawning into my darkness of confusion.  Could it really be for me too?

“Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.
See, darkness covers the earth
and thick darkness is over the peoples,
but the Lord rises upon you
and his glory appears over you.

Isaiah 60:1-2

From Matthew Henry’s Commentary we learn how to recognize and respond to the favor, light and glory from above.

As far as we have the knowledge of God in us, and the favour of God towards us, our light has come.

“Arise, shine; not only receive this light, and” (as the margin reads it) “be enlightened by it, but reflect this light; arise and shine with rays borrowed from it.” The children of light ought to shine as lights in the world. If God’s glory be seen upon us to our honour, we ought not only with our lips, but in our lives, to return the praise of it to his honour.

This glimmer of light gave me such great hope that my jewelry business was named after this favorite verse. The jewelry created to explore my Christian faith would be under the banner “Arise Designs”.

What joy we share as believers together!

‘Let the LORD be glorified that we may see your joy!’  Isaiah 66:5

I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever. For great is your love toward me.  Psalm 86:12 

Gloria in Excelsis Deo is Latin for “Glory to God in the highest”.

1. Angels we have heard on high
Singing sweetly through the night,
And the mountains in reply
Echoing their brave delight.

Gloria, in excelsis Deo!
Gloria, in excelsis Deo!

2. Shepherds, why this jubilee?
Why these songs of happy cheer?
What the great brightness did you see?
What glad tidings did you hear? Refrain

3. Come to Bethlehem and see
Him whose birth the angels sing;
Come, adore on bended knee,
Christ the Lord, the newborn King. Refrain

4. See Him in a manger laid,
Whom the angels praise above;
Mary, Joseph, lend your aid,
While we raise our hearts in love. Refrain

Sing with the angels for the gift from above has been given, and we as shepherds in the 21st century are no less awed by the light of love found in the hay, that starry night when the shepherds first heard the angels praise.

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.  Romans 5:1-5

Singing,

Laurie

 

Print this post by clicking on the green ‘printer friendly’ bar below, and write your answers to these questions.

Question (feel free to journal your answer here) Has your light come?  Are you borrowing the rays and shining them in your generation?

 

 

Your prayer (feel free to write your prayer here)

 

 

Gloria Jewelry can be found at shop.livedan330.com

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Day 19. Do Not Be Afraid

angel-2

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.”

Luke 2:8-12

I don’t know what I’d have done if I’d been a shepherd protecting the sheep from predators in the middle of the night, when an Angel of the Lord appeared and God’s glory shone around.  Yes, I think I would have been terrified, but what to make of the night shining like day and celestial beings hovering overhead? This was very likely going to be an epic night, but why here in the middle of a field filled with grazing sheep?  The glory and splendor of the Lord shining in brightness. The Lord Jehovah, the master, ruler and authority of the universe is appearing here, to the shepherds and the sheep?

What awe must they have felt as the angel tells them, “do not be afraid, I bring good news which will fill all people with great joy”.  Wow, this is big.  It is the work of the Lord.  “Lying over yonder is a baby who will bring the good news, the gospel”.

No kings or magistrates or honorary members of anything were present, just the common working man had the privilege of experiencing the heavenly announcement.  The first proclaiming of the good news with glad tidings.  Evangelizing angels announcing a birth which will bring salvation, not position.  The humility of Christ at the incarnation is the most beautiful gift ever to have been given.  He was wrapped in swaddling clothes on an ordinary night,  attended by stable animals, and seen first by lowly shepherds, not kings.

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 2:21

But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”Luke 1:30-33

This baby named Jesus would carry many other names as well. Do you know what they mean?

Messiah. Savior. King of Kings. Immanuel. The Lord. I am. The Word. The Lamb of God.  The Vine. The Deliverer.  The Living Water. The Bread of life. The Light of the World.  A Refuge. The Rock.  The Redeemer.  The Chief Cornerstone.  The Great High Priest. The Truth. The Holy One of Israel. The Head of the Body, the Church. The Lord of Peace.  The Prince of Peace.  The Judge.  The Lord of Lords. The King of Glory.

This humble baby came for you and me.  Not for a Hollywood premier, or the Super Bowl, the Academy Awards or the Nobel Peace Prize.  He came not to be honored by men, but to serve them with all the power of heaven’s army of angels and God the Father.

The angel’s said” do not be afraid”, so I’m asking you, “do you know him”? Have you come to look at the manger with shepherd’s eyes and found “the sign” in the feeding trough wrapped in swaddling clothes?

 

Print this post by clicking on the green ‘printer friendly’ bar below, and write your answers to these questions.

Question (feel free to journal your answer here) Have you seen “the sign” the angels announced?  Do you call Him Messiah, anointed one? By what names do you know him by?

 

 

Your prayer (feel free to write your prayer here)

 

 

May God bless you as you seek “the sign”, and begin to know all His names,

Laurie

 

Angel Jewelry can be found at shop.livedan330.com

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Day 18. Treasures in Heaven

18.heart

But Mary treasured up all these thing and pondered them in her heart.  Luke 2:19 

The Christmas Story from Luke 2:1-21

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.

The Complete Word Study of the New Testament defines ‘heart’ as;

The Scriptures attributed to the heart: thoughts, reasonings, understanding, will, judgement, designs, affections, love, hatred, fear, joy, sorrow, and anger; these things can actually affect a man’s physical heart. Therefore “heart” is used a s a metonym for the mind in general. p.925

Heart also encompasses the moral or emotional part of being human;

  • A leader with heart is said to be compassionate.
  • If you’ve won someone’s heart it means you’ve won their affection or love.
  • If someone never loses heart they are said to have courage.

Or, heart can mean your innermost feelings and inclinations;

  • If you know something by heart, you’ve memorized it and it’s a part of you.
  • If like David, you’re a man after God’s own heart, your character is being defined.

Mary did not run around trying to clear her name when the angels told her she would be expecting.  When the birth of Jesus was foretold she says, “may it be fulfilled”.

In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.  But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God.  You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David,  and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month.  For no word from God will ever fail.”

“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

Luke 1:26-38

When Mary and Elizabeth came together there was joy in believing the fulfillment of the promise, even from Elizabeth’s baby.

At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, 40 where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth.  When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.  In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!  But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?  As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.  Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”

Luke 1:39-45

Mary quietly and personally wondered what it was that God was doing.  She kept the the joy within her to herself and waited for God to further reveal the truth that was coming. She protected her treasure, as her body protected her baby, in her heart where it was safe.  With quiet confidence she carried her baby and her treasure in faith.

In Matthew’s gospel, we learn;

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For were your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21 

At this time of wonder right before we celebrate Christmas, can we remember what His coming means? Can we leave todays cares unattended and come to wonder and ponder in our hearts the promise made so long ago? Can we treasure the Word which became flesh?  Can we let our hearts be filled by the love of God? And lastly, can we share this fulfillment with those who do not yet know?

 

 

Print this post by clicking on the green ‘printer friendly’ bar below, and write your answers to these questions.

Question (feel free to journal your answer here) Where is your hearts’ treasure? Is it in things? Or is it in Christ?  What would you like to ponder in your heart today?

 

 

Your prayer (feel free to write your prayer here)

 

 

Heart Jewelry can be found at shop.livedan330.com

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