“Then hear thou their prayer and their supplication in heaven thy dwelling place, and maintain their cause,” I Kings 8:49
As I sit meditating on this verse today I am astounded by what God has done. The writer here is supplicating with God. He asks God for restoration when God’s people enter into judgment for their sins and are taken away into captivity…for forgiveness when they turn and repent. He asks that at the moment of the people’s cry of remorse for their sins God would hear their supplication from His dwelling place in heaven or from His fixed and permanent abode in Heaven. The intercessor further asks God not only to hear the people’s cry but that he would maintain their cause…bring restoration…deliver them from the results of their sins.
Here is what I am astounded by. God did it! And in order to do it He left his permanent abode in Heaven and came to Earth. He took on the form of sinful man and “maintained our cause.” We often forget that the cross was not the first sacrifice Jesus made to save us. What did He give up just to become one of us?
Let’s celebrate that sacrificial gift this season!
I was out to lunch with some folks earlier in the week and one of my companions asked me if the Christmas season was getting busy yet.
I don’t know about you but in years past it has been very easy for me to lose the Flower of Christmas, the Rose of Sharon, among the vines of my Christmas to do list. Who am I kidding, with my schedule I can easily misplace Jesus during any month of the year in the thorny pages of my agenda. But throughout the Christmas holiday it is especially easy to miss prayer or relationship with my King simply because I am doing “so much for Him.”
This year I have determined not to reach December 25th full of Christmas spirit but devoid of the Christ child. I have determined not to let ministry and mistletoeish mayhem weary me to the point of missing the point. Oh I’ll still be busy caroling and ministering and wrapping and of course feasting but this year I am determined to slow it down and make sure I intentionally focus on the Reason for the Season. For me intentionally planning Jesus time is going to be part of making it to Christmas Christ-like.
Let me ask you, what do you have to do to get back to the heart of Christmas? Or are you already there?
The children were told by their schools not to sing
about Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and things.
It might hurt people’s feelings, the teachers would say
December 25th is just another ‘ Holiday ‘.
Yet the shoppers were ready with cash, checks and credit
Pushing folks down to the floor just to get it!
CDs from Madonna, an X BOX, an I-Pod
Something was changing, something quite odd!
Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanzaa
In hopes to sell books by Franken & Fonda.
As Targets were hanging their trees upside down
At Home Depot the word “Christmas” was nowhere to be found.
At WalMart and Staples and Penny’s and Sears
You won’t hear the word Christmas; it won’t touch your ears.
Inclusive, sensitive, Di-ver-is-ty
Are words that were used to intimidate me.
Now Daschle, Now Pelosi, Now Sharpton and Reed,
On Boxer, on Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton !
At the top of the Senate, there arose such a clatter
To eliminate Jesus, in all public matter.
And we spoke not a word, as they ousted our faith
Forbidden to speak of salvation and grace
The true Gift of Christmas was exchanged and discarded
The reason for the season, stopped before started.So as you celebrate ‘Winter Break’ under your ‘Dream Tree’Sipping your Starbucks, listen to me.Choose your words carefully, choose what you sayShout MERRY CHRISTMAS,not Happy Holiday!