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This Week's Journeys

Psalm 145:8-13

“The Lord is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and great in faithful love.
The Lord is good to everyone;
His compassion rests on all He has made.

All you have made will thank you, Lord;
the faithful will bless you.
They will speak of the glory of Your kingdom
and will declare Your might,
informing all people of Your mighty acts and of the glorious splendor of Your kingdom.

Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom;
Your rule is for all generations.
The Lord is faithful in all His words
and gracious in all His actions.”

Prayer Journal Entry

Yahweh, this season I’ve been wading through, for what seems like far too long, has wearied me to my core.

Sometimes worship feels hard.

In those difficult moments, I forget that worship doesn’t follow my feelings, but rather my feelings follow my worship of the King of my heart. As I pray to you now, I want nothing more than to melt into Your warmth and let my mind, heart, and soul be utterly consumed with loving You who perfectly loves me in this moment!

I am grateful for the beautiful examples of worship and the inspired lessons that were laid before us this week. They are a welcome and needed reminder of the joy that comes with simply praising Your name, the great I AM; Your character, Jehovah Tsidkenu; Your love, Jehovah Shalom, Your mercy, Jehovah Rapha.

I pray that in the coming weeks as we continue studying Christmas worship, Jehovah Nissi, that You will go before us, lighting our path (Psalm 119:105) and revealing to us Your perfect pathways of righteousness. As we outwardly face the next challenge, the next test, the next season, I ask for Your love to warm our souls, infusing us with the strength of the Holy Spirit, and reminding us our victory has already been won.

In Your Son’s name I pray this, Amen.

Worship Through Song

Journal Prompts

JOURNAL ONE

There is something hauntingly beautiful about “O Come, O Come Emmanuel,” particularly Aaron Shust’s version, which uses the original Latin. This lends a distinct note of ancient elegance and perfection, a combination reflecting our Lord.

As we study the well-known lyrics of both this song and “O Little Bethlehem,” we are reminded again of the glorious weightiness of Jesus’ birth so long ago. This time, however, pay close attention to the scenes before us. It is in the thick of the night, not the bright light of noon, that Jesus was born.

God is, and always will be, the Light Who breaks up Darkness. (John 8:12, Psalm 18:28, Revelation 21:23)

Ladies, just as Yahweh flooded the streets of Bethlehem with an everlasting light, that light now lives in each of us who call Christ our own personal Lord and Savior by casting our sin upon Him and receiving His welcoming adoption as Daughters of the Most High God!

Let that be your source of joy today.

Pull from the light of the Holy Spirit and reflect it back to God and the world around you, for He is the beautiful God who loves You enough to draw near. Jesus tore through the darkness of death not with a flaming sword or words of fire, but with the gentle, humble, pure light of a baby (Luke 2:11-14) whose birth signaled a coming Death to end all death and the conquering of sin for eternity!

JOURNAL TWO

When we allow the lyrics of “Silent Night” to settle inside our hearts, it’s like wrapping ourselves in a blanket of serenity and security, much like the swaddled baby Jesus lying in His manger. That is how God’s love feels. The heavenly peace in which baby Jesus slept is the same heavenly peace with which God blesses us when we abide in Him (abide is to “remain in;” see John 15:5).

His peace offers utter contentment regardless of our situation or surroundings. (Philippians 4:7)

His peace is rooted in confident love that overflows in such a way we can’t help but share with those around us. (Galatians 5:22-23)

His peace provides assurance of His work in us to make us whole despite our broken bodies and broken world. (1 John 4:10-13)

His peace points us toward the Eternal Hope of remaining in His presence without the pull of sin and brokenness around us. (Romans 5:1-5)

When you feel yourself growing overwhelmed or swallowed by doubt, lift your face to God and praise Him (Lamentations 3:20-23), for this is the doorway to His peace. (Philippians 4:4-9)

Choose worship. (Psalm 5:11-12)
He cares about your pain and wellbeing. (Psalm 31:7)

JOURNAL THREE

“O Holy Night” is a song of hope; even the stars are bright with hope as they point the shepherds to Jesus. Upon Jesus’ birth, souls are awakened to the hope of the Savior’s rescue. The voices of the angels inspire hope as they sing of the living Lord.

What if it isn’t the song giving us hope? If we look deeper, we realize it isn’t words on sheet music bringing us hope; it’s both what, or rather who, the song is about and what singing the song isan act of Worship.

Godly worship turns our faces to the Lord and realigns our hearts with His. When we remind ourselves of His overwhelming love and goodness (Psalm 145:3), our entire perspective shifts.

We see that His wholeness has overcome our brokenness; His light has overcome our darkness; His eternity has swallowed our mortality, and we understand that regardless of our circumstance, God is always present and near.

When we allow His incessant presence to be our anchor, we experience hope for the future not just in this life, but for eternity.

What is your favorite way to worship Jesus? Maybe a paintbrush on canvas or wet clay between your hands? Opening your home as a welcome mat for the gospel? Allowing encouragement to be interwoven with your conversations?

No matter what form your worship takes, rest assured that our God is a creative and compassionate God whose love and hope will certainly flow through your active offering!

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Nov 20 - Dec 8, 2023 - Journey Theme #125

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