Greetings In The Name Of The Lord:
Deuteronomy 8:18 (NLT)
18 Remember the Lord your God. He is the one who gives you power to be successful, in order to fulfill the covenant he confirmed to your ancestors with an oath.
In 1863 President Lincoln designated April 30th as a day of national humiliation, fasting, and prayer. Let me read a portion of his proclamation on that occasion:
“It is the duty of nations, as well as of men, who owe their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon, and to recognize the sublime truth announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by a history that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord. The awful calamity of civil war which now desolates the land may be but a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole people. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us. We have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has grown, but we have forgotten God.” This week as we dedicate ourselves to the Lord with prayer and fasting, let’s remember that everything we have comes from God and that anything we hope to accomplish is dependent upon Him. Our nation has not only forgotten God, but we have also pushed Him over in the corner, at best, and at worst refuse to acknowledge His existence. Let’s make 2016 a year of revival and returning to God.
Greetings In The Name Of The Lord:
Luke 1:39-41 (NLT)
A few days later Mary hurried to the hill country of Judea, to the town 40 where Zechariah lived. She entered the house and greeted Elizabeth. 41 At the sound of Mary’s greeting, Elizabeth’s child leaped within her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.”
I discovered a devotional written by Pastor Jack Hayford that tells of how we should treat this Christmas season. It tells of how it is much more important to give than to receive. He states, “There is a seldom noticed yet preciously tender lesson to be found in Mary’s actions immediately following the angel’s visit announcing her role as bearer of the Christ Child. She had been told that her cousin Elizabeth was also experiencing an unusual, though different, visitation of God’s grace: that now late in life, she was in the sixth month of pregnancy with her first child (Luke 1:36). Now, almost immediately after she has discovered that she, Mary of Nazareth, is about to become the most unique woman in history, notice how beautifully her attention turns from herself to a need where she can serve. She travels to help Elizabeth, and verse 56 says that Mary stayed with her aged relative and served her until Elizabeth’s baby was delivered. This could well become our most important Christmas lesson for this year. Mary demonstrates a principle of God’s love in action: “May I be more concerned to assist the fulfillment of what the Lord is doing in another person than I am with what He is doing in me” (Celebrate! Daily Devotions for the Spirit-Filled Life, Jack W. Hayford, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, 1992, page: December 9). This story reminds me of a wonderful young lady I encountered recently, who when asked what she wanted for Christmas replied, “I don’t want to get, I want to give!” Oh that we could learn this lesson not only at Christmas time but all year round.