Daily D – 1 Corinthians 15:9
1 Corinthians 15:9 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. (NIV)
Christmas and Easter are complete wastes of time and money if Jesus did not rise from the dead and ascend to our Father in heaven. The billions of believers who place their faith in him are indeed pitiable. Christmas and Easter are joyful celebrations because he lives, he reigns, and he is coming again.
An old, old Christmas carol silenced my singing yesterday as deep truth and musical beauty combined to declare again how God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).
Sitting with Ollie and Millie before the fire and listening to a smooth jazz Christmas, a plaintive horn bid us
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel
It was a miracle Handel’s Messiah was ever performed. Read the backstory and see all the complications and barriers and outright evil that almost derailed it forever. Only by the grace of God was it completed and presented by some of the very people who sought to ruin the show. It was, and is, a work of amazing grace. Christmas and Easter stand side by side as one beautiful story of God’s love for his lost sons and daughters, and his seeking, saving, redeeming nature.
My prayer for us all is whether in the car or the mall, whether at church or at work, we hear those old familiar carols and hymns and find our attention turned once again to him and his amazing love. Indeed, how can it be?
Christmas and Easter endure not out of habit, but out of truth and life and the fondest hope and the most wonderful dream that will soon come truer than true for me and for you.
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel by The Piano Guys
I will sing my praise for our Father who saves.
Our Father, how could we not offer you our most beautiful praise and worship? You love to the utmost. You give love without limit to all who will receive it. May we bear carols and hymns in our hearts beyond their stated seasons. May they forever remind us of how much you love us each and every one. Amen.
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Deuteronomy 8:12-18 When you eat and are full, and build beautiful houses to live in, and your herds and flocks grow large, and your silver and gold multiply, and everything else you have increases, be careful that your heart doesn’t become proud and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery. He led you through the great and terrible wilderness with its poisonous snakes and scorpions, a thirsty land where there was no water. He brought water out of the flint rock for you. He fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your ancestors had not known, in order to humble and test you, so that in the end he might cause you to prosper. You may say to yourself, ‘My power and my own ability have gained this wealth for me,’ but remember that the Lord your God gives you the power to gain wealth, in order to confirm his covenant he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your city gates.“
Deuteronomy 1:2, 3 It is an eleven-day journey from Horeb to Kadesh-barnea by way of Mount Seir. In the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first of the month, Moses told the Israelites everything the Lord had commanded him to say to them.