god-and-man-together

George Whitefield, preacher of the Great Awakening in Britain, was called the Grand Itinerant, for his unparalleled ministry. He was God’s agent to light fires of revival on two continents. His sermons were remarkably theological and evangelistic. He risked all that he had to proclaim the Christ who was God incarnate. Let this wallpaper remind you of Jesus, the Son of God who became man in order to bring man back to God.

“Jesus was God and man in one person, that God and man might be happy together again.” (George Whitefield)

we-should-trust

The wind blew gently that afternoon as it did so many others. Nothing about it was extraordinary. It was just a usual day full of usual happenings. A young Jewish girl named Mary was grinding wheat and barley into flour, preparing food for the evening. Her father was off to work, her siblings tending to chores, and her mother away at the market.

Although alone at the house, no one was concerned about her safety. It was a small town with little noise, only the sound of young children playing and running about. There were only 2,000 souls in the whole city. You could easily miss it passing by in a caravan. Luke referred to it as Galilee. People knew Galilee. But this place, Nazareth, where was that?

Israel had not heard from God in 400 years. There had been no angelic appearances in 500 years, and no miracles in 800 years. Not until sixth months ago when Gabriel appeared to Zechariah, gave him God’s Word and a miraculous conception. Now, on this usual day in this usual city as this usual girl was tending to her usual chores, God would do it again. This time, an even more miraculous conception would occur.

gloria-in-excelsis-deo

The famous Christmas carol, Angels We Have Heard on High, was inspired by Luke’s account of Jesus’ birth. The shepherds were ought keeping watch over their flock by night when an angel appeared to them announcing good news, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Suddenly, they saw a multitude of angels praising God, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (Lk. 2:8-14). Let this wallpaper remind you to glorify God this Christmas.

we-should-believe

It was a bloody mess. Blood on the floor. Blood on the walls. Blood on the garments. Jews from all over the known world were coming to the temple, as was their custom, to offer animal sacrifices to God—a picture to prepare them for the Messiah’s work on the cross.

The priests would receive the animal and butcher it, separating specific parts of its body for specific purposes of worship in the temple. It would be burned, poured over coals, and surrendered to God in prayer. It was a scene of death.

There were about 18,000 priests at that time, divided across 24 divisions. Twice a year, a division would serve seven days in the temple. Doing the math, 750 priests were performing their duties on any given day. Out of those, only one would be privileged to carry the bloody, burning coals into the Holy Place. They drew straws to choose that person. It was the opportunity of a lifetime, literally. A priest could enter the Holy Place only once.

Our story introduces Zechariah. He is that privileged priest, that randomly chosen, insignificant man who just happened to be doing his job the day God broke His silence. He was a common man. In fact, he was one of 18,000 priests who were just like him. On the surface, there was nothing extraordinary about him being chosen for the job. It was in the straws.

god-was-made-man

The gospel of John describes Jesus as the incarnate Word of God—the Word made flesh, the climactic message of God, the divine self-expression. He existed before creation and was introduced into creation (Jn. 1:1-18). And yet, God’s living Word once lay as a speechless infant in a manger.

Let this wallpaper remind you that Christmas is a day to remember the humility of God in Jesus the Christ.

“And now, with what words shall we praise the love of God? What thanks shall we give? He so loved us that for our sakes He, through whom time was made, was made in time; and He, older by eternity than the world itself, was younger in age than many of His servants in the world; He, who made man, was made man; He was given existence by a mother whom He brought into existence; He was carried in hands which He formed; He nursed at breasts which He filled; He cried like a babe in the manger in speechless infancy—this Word without which human eloquence is speechless!” (Augustine of Hippo, Sermons for Christmas and Epiphany)

christmas-rollup

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Is. 9:6)

The Christmas season is upon us. Though it may be riddled with Santas and conflicts over Nativities in public, it is a wonderful time to gather your friends and family and focus on God coming to earth to save sinners like you and me. Remember to make this time about Christ. Here is a Wallpaper Rollup from 2013 to help.

before-the-first-christmas

The “silent treatment” can be brutal. We’ve all experienced it before. Some of us have dished it out. It’s what happens when you upset someone so much that to speak would be the end of you.

The Israelites experienced it as a nation. God was silent for several generations, not because He was angry, but because He was rolling up His sleeves preparing the greatest speech in human history—the incarnation of the living Word.

The Israelites had a long past with God’s word. He spoke to them through clouds, bushes, fire, prophets, patriarchs, kings, and more. The writer of Hebrews said, “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son” (Heb. 1:1-2). With the appearing of Jesus, we have God’s ultimate self-expression. “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature,” Hebrews continues (Heb. 1:3). When Jesus was born, God spoke most powerfully.

gratitude-joy-resilience

In her devotional book, The Quiet Place, Nancy Leigh DeMoss reminds us that God uses gratitude as one way to bring joy and resilience in our life, particularly during times of struggle. Gratitude has a way of redirecting our vision toward the goodness of God so that we might experience newness. Let this wallpaper remind you to have gratitude when life has struggles.

“Gratitude has a big job to do in us and our hearts. It is one of the chief ways that God infuses joy and resilience into the daily struggle of life.” (Nancy Leigh DeMoss, The Quiet Place)

gods-will-is-to-give-thanks

“To will what God wills brings peace.”

Amy Carmichael, a missionary to India for over 55 years of her life, is credited with those words. She was also responsible for saving young women from forced prostitution, rescuing Hindu temple children, withstanding violent threats, and enduring long journeys in savage lands for the sake of others.

When asked about missionary life, she described it as “simply a chance to die.” Yet, she was a woman of peace because she was a woman of God. She desired His will above her own. Her complicated life was anything but complicated when it came to obedience.

We have a tendency to overcomplicate the will of God, don’t we? How often have we ignored the clear teachings of Scripture to wander off into the imaginations of guesswork saying to ourselves, “What is God’s will for me?”

god-breaks-his-silence-study-guide

The air is getting colder. The days are getting shorter. Fall is here and Christmas is coming. The stores have already prepared their windows, the neighborhoods are decorated with wreaths and lights, and the kids are excited.

Everything about this time is grand. Andy Williams was right: it is the most wonderful time of the year. From the Christian’s perspective, this time is particularly special because we celebrate the coming of our Lord, Jesus. Beyond the Santa exploits and arguments over nativity displays in public, there is a culminating atmosphere that directs all of our senses toward Christ.

It has become easier each year to forget what the season is all about. There’s the hustle in buying, the traffic in the streets, and that irritated lady who mouths off to the store clerk when they run out of Elmos. So many things can distract us from—pardon the cliché—the reason for the season.

If we can prepare ourselves ahead, this time of the year can be wonderfully useful to our families. We have to be intentional. We have to take advantage of the sights, sounds, and smells, and use them to stir our affections toward heaven.