"Hope is an anchor for our souls"
This is a bronze ship above the Asbury Park Convention Hall, NJ.
© Karen Kyle Ericson, all rights reserved.
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
(Romans 8:28 NKJV)
13 For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, 14 saying, “Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.”
God is always good on His Word. He's not like us, err me. I have best intentions to do something and then wind up doing something else. He never fails.
It's good to know God has planned to include us even though we are weak at times. I've never tied this story to Christmas before, but the Holy Spirit and the Bible have led me to this passage. I am sorry it is long, but if you have time it's quite relevant to the birth of Jesus. It took place many years before Christ was born in a manger.
Abraham and Isaac-Back to the passage in Hebrews. Abraham is described as "patiently enduring the test." That must have been how God felt while Jesus walked the earth. It must have been horrible during the crucifixion. God didn't allow Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, but He did allow Jesus to become the sacrifice for all men who change their ways and turn to Him.
1 Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!”
And he said, “Here I am.”
2 Then He said, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”
3 So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. 4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off. 5 And Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.”
6 So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together. 7 But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!”
And he said, “Here I am, my son.”
Then he said, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?”
8 And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” So the two of them went together.
9 Then they came to the place of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood. 10 And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.
11 But the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!”
So he said, “Here I am.”
12 And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”
13 Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 And Abraham called the name of the place, The- Lord- Will- Provide; as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”
15 Then the Angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, 16 and said:“By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son— 17 blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. 18 In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” 19 So Abraham returned to his young men, and they rose and went together to Beersheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beersheba.
(Genesis 22:1-19 NKJV)
15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. 16 For men indeed swear by the greater, and an oath for confirmation is for them an end of all dispute. 17 Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, 18 that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.
Dear Heavenly Father,
I praise You and thank You for bringing us through all the storms we've faced in our nations. It's been quite a year. I pray You will be present with us as You've promised. Please renew a right spirit within us. We are weary, some of us are broke, and some alone. Refresh us Father with new hope, faith, and love. Sing over us the songs of love You long for us to hear. Thank You so much for Your Word. Bless us all as we celebrate Jesus' birth. Thank You for a Savior, we need Him indeed.
In Jesus Name, Amen.
Here are definitions of hope and faith from Hebrews. Love is defined in 1 Corinthians 13. It's good reading for us all. These words are very much a part of the American Christmas tradition. I'll start reposting the true Christmas story on the 20th, may even do some new drawings this year : )
19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, 20 where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.
(Hebrews 6:19-20 NKJV)
1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
(Hebrews 11:1 NKJV)
Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.Here I am Lord : ) God bless you!
(1 Corinthians 13:8-10 NKJV)
Comments are always welcome.