Prophesy Fulfilled

I have always simply accepted the profecies of Jesus as true and that was that. For some reason I decided to do some research and what I found was astounding. Take a look at these figures:

The chances of 1 person fulfilling 8 prophecies – 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000. 1 person fulfilling 48 prophecies – 1 chance in 10 to the 157th power. 1 person fulfilling 300+ prophecies – Only Jesus! (from Biblical Prophesies Fulfilled by Jesus)

Is that amazing or what?  BTW that long number with all the zeros is a quintillion.  10 to the 157th power… is one and one-half+ googols or 157 zero’s after the 10.  It’s fun to think about but it definitely becomes mind-boggling, doesn’t it?

There are 8 specific prophecies that are connected to the birth of Jesus.

In the beautiful Christmas Hymn by Charles Wesley, Hark, The Herald Angels Sing (click on the picture to hear the song, are these words:
Throughout this song, and many of the other Christmas hymns, the prophecies are repeated, reminding us that Jesus is who He says He is.

None of this should be mind-boggling.  It is what it is.  God’s Word is the truth.  Yet, there are millions who are still in the darkness.  Who believe only what they want to believe.  Who limit the beauty of this season to what’s going to be under the tree.

Let’s be different.  Let’s quit thinking and focusing on what we’re going to get and move on to what are we going to give.  Will you be the one to share the Story for the first time?  Will you be the one that shines light into the darkness?  Will you be the one, like Mary, who was called blessed because she believed? (Luke 1:45)

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

All scripture links are from BibleGateway.com.

The Last of the Old Testament Prophets


One of my favorite parts of the Christmas Story is that of two people who waited patiently for the Messiah.  Simeon and Anna were both New Testament witnesses to the Christ Child. Their stories are as follows (from the NIV, Luke 2):

25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God…

Luke 2:36–38 There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.

Simeon and Anna were the first to see Him in a public place.  They were the first witnesses to who He really was.  More importantly, they were not afraid to say, to other worshippers in the Temple, who He was.

Simeon and Anna were the last of the Old Testament prophets.  Their entire life purpose was to listen for and to God.  Also, they shared with the other worshippers what they had heard God say in the temple.  They did not sugar-coat the words but spoke clearly and with conviction.

Both of their names point to a strong, long-lasting faith. Simeon means obedient and listening. Anna means gracious, one who gives.

Dr. William Smith in Smith’s Bible Dictionary suggests that she was probably more than a hundred years old when she spoke over Jesus.  (If she was married at approximately 14, lived with her husband for 7 years, and had spent 84 years after that in the temple, then she was at least  105 years old.)  It is possible that Simeon was also quite old.

So, what is in this story for us?  First, Isaiah 40:31 pops into my mind when I think of the words ‘they that wait upon the Lord…’.  In all the years they waited for the Birth neither one gave up on God’s promise and they were rewarded with seeing Him personally. We often wonder when God will finally act on one of His promises or our requests.  Simeon and Anna are a great example of waiting and watching. Second, a life of prayer is important in seeing God’s work. Although the scripture says Anna had lived, prayed, and fasted in the temple since her husband’s death, it does not mean that we have to live in our churches to experience God. He is everywhere! And finally, we can trust that God will follow through on His promises. God will and can do what He says He will.  Our trust and obedience in matters of faith always lead to God’s blessings.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Simeon and Anna

One of my favorite parts of the Christmas Story is that of two people who waited patiently for the Messiah.  Simeon and Anna were both New Testament witnesses to the Christ Child. Their stories are as follows (from the NIV, Luke 2):

Simeon at the Presentation of the Child by Rembrandt

Simeon at the Presentation of the Child by Rembrandt

25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God…

     

Anna by Rembrandt

Anna by Rembrandt

Luke 2:36–38 There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.

Simeon and Anna were the first to see Him in a public place.  They were the first witnesses to who He really was.  More importantly, they were not afraid to say, to other worshippers in the Temple, who He was.

Simeon and Anna were the last of the Old Testament prophets.  Their entire life purpose was to listen for and to God.  Also, they shared with the other worshippers what they had heard God say in the temple.  They did not sugar-coat the words but spoke clearly and with conviction.

Both of their names point to a strong, long-lasting faith.  Simeon means obedient and listening.  Anna means gracious, one who gives.

Dr. William Smith in Smith’s Bible Dictionary suggests that she was probably more than a hundred years old when she spoke over Jesus.  (If she was married at approximately 14, lived with her husband for 7 years, and had spent 84 years after that in the temple, then she was at least  105 years old.)  It is possible that Simeon was also quite old.  Tradition has it that he was one of the 72 translators of the Septuagint.  If that is truly the case he was over 200 years old at the time of this incident.

So, what is in this story for us.  First, Isaiah 40:31 pops into my mind when I think of the words ‘they that wait upon the Lord…’.  In all the years they waiting for the Birth neither one gave up on God’s promise and they were rewarded with seeing Him personally. We often wonder when God will finally act on one of His promises or our requests.  Simeon and Anna are a great example of waiting and waiting and waiting…  Second, a life of prayer is important in seeing God’s work.  Although the scripture says Anna had lived, prayed, and fasted in the temple since her husband’s death, it does not mean that we have to live in our churches to experience God.  He is everywhere!  And finally, we can trust that God will follow through on His promises.  God will and can do what He says He will.  Our trust and obedience in matters of faith always lead to God’s blessings.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS – HEAVEN’S VERSION

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through Heaven‘s house,
All the angels were stirring, the Saviors birth to announce!
The Heavenly Host’s were getting ready to sing,
In the hope that their anthem would let True Freedom ring.

The shepherds were keeping their sheep late that night,
While the Provision from Heaven hung just out of sight.
Mary was weary from traveling all day,
While Joseph was searching for a place they could stay.

A decree from Caesar made travel a must,
Mary’s feet were now cold, tired, and covered with dust.
Yet, in her heart she quietly remembered,
That the Angel of the Lord said, She was highly favored!

All Joseph could find was a room in a barn,
But at least for the night Mary’s feet would be warm.
The time of her delivery would be here soon,
As the light of the day, gave way to the moon.

The Son of the Highest he shall be called,
A Horn of Salvation given for all.
He will sit on the throne of his father David,
And one day all men will sing his praises.

The Mighty God and Everlasting Father,
Whose Government alone will rest on his shoulder.
A Wonderful Counselor, and the Prince of Peace,
Whose Government over time will only increase.

The Spirit of the Lord will rest upon him;
He is anointed to heal all who are broken.
He will set at liberty them that are bruised,
Mistreated and jailed, and by power, abused.

The promised Messiah from a time long ago,
Was now ready to be given to the world down below.
The promise of His Kingdom reigning on Earth,
To govern our hearts, and to show men their worth.

The shepherds were resting; the sheep were silent that night,
When the Angel appeared, and caused them great fright.
Fear not, said the Angel, I bring tidings of great joy,
Which will be for all people, so all may rejoice!

Your Savior has been born in the City of David,
Which is Christ the Lord, who has come to save us.
He will make the dark places lighted within,
Take away all guilt and do away with all sin.

Peace on Earth! The Angel said, All is well with mankind!
For the Father has sent his Gift right on time.
The Gift of forgiveness for all to enjoy,
His salvation and blessings for you to employ.
You’ll find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes,
His name will be Jesus, and he is God’s love exposed.

Then the Angel was joined by the Heavenly Hosts,
Giving glory to God in the Highest, as together they rose.
The shepherds heard them exclaim as they rose out of sight,
God’s forgiveness to all, and to all, a very good night!

By Elizabeth McAndrew
Merry Christmas 2010

Permission given by author to share at http://www.faithwriters.com/article-details.php?id=125540

Red and Green

The Holly and the Ivy - Olde English Carole

The Holly and the Ivy – Olde English Carole

It is not entirely happenstance that Red and Green are the colors of Christmas. They are often mentioned in the Bible.  Red is often used to refer to blood and can be interpreted as both life and death (i.e., Jesus blood gives life, Leviticus 17:14 tells us the life of a creature is in the blood).

Red is often used to refer to blood and can be interpreted as both life and death (i.e., Jesus blood gives life, Leviticus 17:14 tells us the life of a creature is in the blood).

Red and scarlet most often symbolize sin.  For instance, check out Isaiah 1:18 and Joshua 2:18. Notice that in both of these scriptures the use of red also points to grace.  In Isaiah sin will be washed whiter than snow and in Joshua the red cord keeps Rahab and her family safe, forgiven of her sin.  Exodus 12:7 tells us that God told the Israelites to spread the blood of a lamb on the doorpost so that when the Angel of Death came by they would safe.

In the sacrificial system of the Old Testament, the blood was a large part of the ceremony.  Offering the blood of the animal stood in the place of the sins of the person.  This was a temporary solution to the sin problem.  Jesus’ blood (life) was required for the final sacrifice.  At that point in time, the sacrificial system was no longer needed.  Red now is a symbol for life through the blood of the Lamb.

Green often describes life and rest.  Psalm 23:2  tells us He gives us rest in green pastures.   Psalm 52:8 says, “But I am like a green olive-tree in the house of God: I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever.”

Green trees often refer to nations. “And all the trees of the field shall know that I, the LORD, have brought down the high tree and exalted the low tree, dried up the green tree and made the dry tree flourish; I, the LORD, have spoken and have done it.” Ezek 17:24.  All nations and peoples will recognize God.

A green tree is also used in Jeremiah 17:8 to describe a righteous man.  “For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, that spreads out roots by the river, and is withered by heat or draught.” 

Green as it is first used in Genesis, is the Hebrew word ‘yer eq’ and is used in verse 30.  God is telling us that He provides all that we need for life by giving us the food we need.

As you ponder these words in your heart I wish you love, joy, and peace during this beautiful, meaningful season.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie