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Monday, January 01, 2018

Heaven Came Down and Glory Filled my Soul!

          How can we celebrate Heaven coming down and Jesus’ birth - through all the tinsel, wrapping paper, and Christmas movies of today?
         Yes, Jesus came down from Heaven. This tiny baby grew up in a sinful world, yet He was sinless. He loved the Lord God with all his heart, His soul, and His strength, and His mind!  This is the first and greatest commandment He left with us.
         Our minds guide our hearts and our souls through Jesus Christ to our ultimate destination after this life. Romans 8:6 - So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. 
         One song we often sing at Christmas time is about Figgy Pudding, and we won’t go until we get some.  In Jeremiah 24, God used a Fig Story for Jeremiah.  What do you see? Jeremiah replied, “Two baskets of figs, one good and one basket contains rotten figs! In the 7th verse, God says, “I will give them hearts that recognize me as the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me wholeheartedly.”
         Recognizing the Lordship of Jesus is when He comes down into our hearts, and His Glory fills our hearts.
        Colossians 3:15, And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. And 1 Thessalonians 5:17 adds…Never stop praying…pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18.
         The Power of Communication with God, through the Name of Jesus is unending.  He is constantly faithful! No matter how deep the snow or cold our world becomes, trusting in Jesus calms our souls and our spirit!
         Recently, I read one of my favorite scriptures from Lamentation 3:22-23. The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.  Then I read one more verse. I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!” (24)
         John Peterson wrote the lyrics of this hymn, when he heard the following testimony from a man on the night he met Jesus – Heaven came down and glory filled my soul. These words struck a chord with John Peterson… He remembered the nights he flew the dangerous China Hump missions during WWII.  He flew night after night, trusting God, under the canopy of stars God created.  He experienced the glory of the greatness of God, and the assurance of God’s love.   Psalm 63:3-8 - Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise you.  I will praise you as long as I live, lifting up my hands to you in prayer. You satisfy me more than the richest feast. I will praise you with songs of joy.  I lie awake thinking of you, meditating on you through the night. Because you are my helper, I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings.  I cling to you; your strong right hand holds me securely.
         Each of us go through turning points in our lives, when we think we cannot go on. We cannot see the next step. These are the moments when God is teaching us to trust and rely on Him.  He is our Hope and our Life itself.  God is all powerful, and only in Him can we live our journey here on earth until He calls us home to Heaven. What spiritual fruit do we show in our lives in times like these? John Peterson understood this in finding the glory of God in His Creation under the stars.  No matter how the darkness of the world envelopes us, look for the God of the Stars, and His Promises that bring Hope and Peace.
         John Peterson died in 2006.  In his lifetime, he wrote one thousand songs and thirty-five cantatas.  In each he shared the Glory of God. He used his gift of music to glorify God. The music John Peterson became his fruit of faith and love.
         Is our inheritance made of Heavenly Treasures – such as – Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness, Faithfulness and Self-Control? This is when we recognize Jesus as truly the Lord of each breath we take.  It is then we can understand John Peterson’s faith and joy in the lyrics he wrote.
           Heaven came down and glory filled my soul.
           When at the cross the Savior made me whole;
My sins were washed away. And my night was turned to day-
Heaven came down and glory filled my soul!

John 17:22-24 - “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one.  I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.  Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began!
Isaiah 60:19-20 - “No longer will you need the sun to shine by day, nor the moon to give its light by night, for the Lord your God will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory.  Your sun will never set; your moon will not go down. For the Lord will be your everlasting light. Your days of mourning will come to an end.
         Psalm 86:11-13 - Teach me your ways, O Lord, that I may live according to your truth! Grant me purity of heart, so that I may honor you. With all my heart I will praise you, O Lord my God. I will give glory to your name forever, for your love for me is very great. You have rescued me from the depths of death.

         Philippians 1:10-11 - For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return.  May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God.


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