Luke 2:8-14 (ESV)

 8And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. 10And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
 14 “Glory to God in the highest,
   and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

Man.. I don’t care that it isn’t the season of advent. I was listening to the song “Joy” by the Seeds Family Worship crew over at seedsfamilyworship.net and this song.. this song gets me pumped!

The Word became Flesh!

Wes

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Jesus says in Matthew 12:34 that “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.”

I like being known as a quick-witted guy. There is a certain security in knowing you could quickly humiliate someone by making them feel awful. Some terrible defense mechanism that makes us want to be quick to defend ourselves and lash out at others when being attacked or when we feel threatened. It’s something the world and the flesh loves. We love seeing the antagonist on the TV be quicker than everyone around them. Being the fastest on his feet and able to return any malicious attacks against him right back into the face of his offenders. 

But our model is not a sexy man on tv. I don’t want to be like that man, I want to be like Jesus.

I want more than to tame my tongue. I don’t want to be assaulted and be thinking in my head, “Man I could tear this guy up..” and be holding back. I want my heart to be changed. I want the words I speak and don’t speak to be out of the overflow of the work Christ is doing in my heart.

May our hearts be marked by humility knowing that We are saved only by grace and have no reason for boasting. May our hearts by full of truth, so we may offer sound words of wisdom and advice to our brothers and sisters. May our hearts be patient, reminded of the incredible patience God has shown with us, his people. May our hearts be overflowing with love for Christ and for others, loving the way God has loved us.

I want my heart to be changed, and the words that come from my mouth will coincide with that change.

I can change my words. I cannot change my heart. I can, however, be intentional about what is going in my heart and head. Soaking yourself in the words of Christ and the Word is a great start.

Yet, It is God alone who has the power to change our hearts. Before you ever rely on any spiritual discipline to make you more like Christ, lean wholly on the Sovereign most high to melt your heart and mold you into the image of his son.

Thank you Lord that in Christ, we have died to sin that we might live to righteousness. That we are no longer under the curse of the law because Christ became a curse for us. Thank you that Jesus’ righteousness has been credited to our account and that our penalty and punishment from the law has been paid in full in the death of Jesus on the cross. Thank you! Sin will no longer have dominion over us because we are not under law but under grace!

Brothers and Sisters, rejoice with me in the amazing redeeming work our God has done to bring glory to himself!

Wes

For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified – Hebrews 10:14

“Being sanctified means that we are imprefect and in process. We are becoming holy – but are not yet fully holy. And it is precisely these – and only these – who are already perfected. The joyful encouragement here is that the evidence of our perfection before God is not our experienced perfection, but our experienced progress. The good news is that being on the way is proof that we have arrived.” From Piper’s 50 Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die.

In my life sanctification has been an agonizingly slow process. Not like flipping on a light switch, but rather like a slow climb up a hill. But I am so grateful for the way the Lord is shaping me more into the image of Christ. When you ask to grow in grace and faith, the Lord will answer your prayer. However, He’s  answered me in ways I hadn’t imagined or wanted. But he is God and Father and he knows what is best for his beloved children. Take comfort in the promise that he who began a good work in you will be faithful to carry it through to completion.

Wes

And it is our prayer that our love may abound more and more with knowledge and discernment so that we may approve what is excellent and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of you, oh God.

O God, may Thy Spirit speak in me that I may speak to Thee. I Lord Jesus, great high priest, Thou hast opened a new and living way by which a fallen creature can approach Thee with acceptance.

Help me to contemplate the dignity of Thy Person, the perfectness of Thy sacrifice, the effectiveness of Thy intercession.

O what blessedness accompanies devotion, when under all the trials that weary me, the cares that corrode me, the fears that disturb me, the infirmities that oppress me, I can come to Thee in my need and feel peace beyond understanding!

The grace that restores is necessary to preserve, lead, guard, supply, help me.  And here Thy saints encourage my hope; they were once poor and are now rich, bound and are now free, tried and now are victorious.

Every new duty calls for more grace than I now possess, but not more than is found in Thee, the divine treasury in whom all fullness dwells.  To Thee I repair for grace upon grace, until every void made by sin be replenished and I am filled with all Thy fullness.

May my desires be enlarged and my hopes emboldened, that I may honour Thee by my entire dependency and the greatness of my expectation.

Do Thou be with me, and prepare me for all the smiles of prosperity, the frowns of adversity, the losses of substance, the death of friends, the days of darkness, the changes of life, and the last great change of all. May I find thy grace sufficient for all my needs.

– From The Valley of Vision

this or that. Take a step back. Look at the situation. Remember that a lifetime is a long time. Remember that a lifetime is just a vapor in the wind of Time. Remember that you are dust. Think about whether this will matter in 10 days (apply this method in other ways as well.. 10 seconds, 10 minutes, 10 weeks, 10 months, etc.).

Remember the Truths of Scripture.

God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he has loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – for by grace you have been saved! – and raised us with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show what are the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness towards us in Christ Jesus.

Get some perspective. Look through scripture and remember what matters.

Wes