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Archives for December 2017

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Come and Worship the King (Isaiah 60)

The Promised One

At Christmas we celebrate God's light come into the world. And on Christmas Eve this year we looked at how Isaiah 60 both predicts and expands our understanding of God's glorious light.In the fullness of time, we see how the Magi in Matthew 2 fulfill Isaiah's promise of the nations coming to worship the Lord. This teaches us that coming to Zion is not simply a future reali...

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Ten Looks at Christ

tenlooks

As 2017 finishes and we look ahead to 2018, let us not fall into the trap of only looking at ourselves. How easily and yet how discouraging (or self-exalting) it can be to only look at our achievements in 2017 or our plans in 2018, and to do so while missing Christ, his work, and his plans. Instead, as we finish one year and go into the next, let us look to Christ first a...

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The Divine Warrior Wrapped in Swaddling Clothes

warriorsamuel-zeller

And a Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacobwho turn from transgression," declares the Lord. Isaiah 59:20 Wars and rumors of war. Throughout the world right now, armies are planning and preparing for various military operations. Closer to home, domestic abuse, interpersonal strife, and political injustice continue unabated. Just this week, I learned that a man wa...

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The Divine Warrior in Mary’s Womb (Isaiah 59)

The Promised One

Perhaps Isaiah 59 is not the first passage that comes to mind when you think of Christmas. A month ago, it wasn't on my radar as a "Christmas passage," either. However, after doing some preliminary study on the armor of God in Ephesians 6, which quotes Isaiah 59:17, I soon realized how much Isaiah 59 (with the rest of Isaiah 5666) prepares the way for Christ. Today, we be...

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Finding Rest in the Merry-Thon

Immanuel

For many, the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas leave us grateful but gassed. In the name of holiday festivities, December means attending multiple Christmas parties, traveling to see family and friends, and standing in line to get the ever-elusive "perfect gift." As much joy as Christmas brings, if we aren't careful, holiday cheer can sap our energy and steal ou...

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Walk Worthy (pt. 4): Walk Wisely by the Spirit of Wisdom (Ephesians 5:15

MORE THAN we can imagine_

What is a Spirit-filled church? What does it mean to walk in the Spirit? And if you feel empty of the Spirit, what sort of 'magic' does it take to feel full again? On Sunday, I sought to answer that question from Ephesians 5:1521, as we considered the last of Paul's instructions towalk worthy.In some ways this is the pinnacle of his instructions, going back to Ephesians 4...

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When a Workshop reminds me that God is I AM

Simeon workshop

For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:10-11 For t...

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Walk Worthy (pt. 3): Walk in the Light of Christ (Ephesians 5:6

MORE THAN we can imagine_

Walking seems like such a simple thing until we break a toe or all the lights go out. Thankfully, the command to walk worthy of our calling is not something we must figure out on our own or something we must do in our own strength. Rather, in Christ the Christian has been given all they need to walk in love and light. Just as important, we have been given a community wit...

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Celebrating and Proclaiming Christ at Christmastime

We look forward to Christmas for many reasons, but most of all we rejoice at the miracle of Christ's birth, and the grace of God in the Word become flesh. One of the traditions my family looks forward to is our advent calendar. Each day of December leading up to Christmas we tuck a slip of paper with a daily Scripture reading and a Christmas tradition behind the miniatu...

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November 2017 Shepherd's Letter

Shepherd's Letter

Dear Brothers and Sisters, "Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations" (Psalm 100:4b-5). We are thankful to the Lord for you, for our church family, and for how the Lord is working in our midst. We are thankful for the grace and faithfulness of God that we heard proclaimed durin...

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