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This Week's Journeys

John 3:16-17

For God so loved the world, that he gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.

Prayer Journal Entry

Lord, I come before you in humbleness and awe, knowing your Word is true and instructive to my heart of how to follow You and love others. You came not just for the world, but for me. You put on flesh like mine so You, O Divine God, could take the world’s sin, my sins, upon your shoulders and remove them forever as far as the east is from the west. (Psalm 103:12) Help me to always be aware of this, for it’s this truth that makes Christmas wonder-full.

Remind me to be more and more aware of Your love, O Christ. Help me not to sin, O Spirit! And quickly draw me back to You through my repentance when I do sin.

I rejoice that You do not condemn those who believe in You! Help me radiate this truth, so that others may see and be drawn close to you. Help me practice living out a love that does not condemn. The unconditional love you have for us amazes me; make me a conduit for this divine love. Thank you for loving me, O Triune God!

Worship Through Song

Journal Prompts

JOURNAL ONE

Even though “Go Tell It On The Mountain” was published in 1909, its history is birthed in the Negro Spirituals pre-dating the Civil War. More interesting, it wasn’t initially written as a Christmas song. When it was eventually published, new verses were added.

Malinda’s Journey Study emphasizes the Scripture that anchors this hymn, ”In the same region, shepherds were staying out in the fields and keeping watch at night over their flock. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people…” (Luke 2:8-10)

With that, the shepherds did indeed “go and tell” what they had seen and heard. How often do we tell others about the goodness of God? How often do we testify about the wonderful things God has done for us whether big or small?

Malinda reminds us that when we sing Christmas songs and celebrate Christ’s birth, we should also reflect on the why of His coming. His love led to His grand redemption of us as sinners, which Rachel described with clarity in her Digging Deeper Study. His birth led to His death, which brought us salvation.

When we “go and tell”, we aren’t just sharing of a babe in a manger, but of the Lord of Life who holds eternity with Him and complete forgiveness out to us!
JOURNAL TWO

The carol, “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing!” is based on Luke 2:13-14, “Suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying:Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to people He favors!”

Charles Wesley first wrote “Hark!” as a poem as he endeavored to come up with a new Christmas composition with theological depth. Later, some parts were polished and re-written by his college friend, George Wakefield, before publication.

Though, later, the two friends grew apart as they differed on their theology. Still, the Lord used both men to bring thousands of souls to Himself through their preaching.

May this snippet of their story remind you to fight for unity with brothers and sisters in Christ as we all “Hearken!” to the Lord and worship Him. The angelic appearance to lowly shepherds reminds us Christ is for all people, let’s live like that really is core to how we love others!

To better understand the kaleidoscope of Jesus’ love, check out this Journey Theme!
JOURNAL THREE

In “Angels From the Realms of Glory”, angels, shepherds, sages, saints, sinners, and all creation are called to gather in worship of the Creator of everything with hope, repentance, and bold voices. These are important markers of the heart posture we must have when approaching worship.

As this beautiful hymn reminds us, God, through Jesus, has broken our chains of sin, defeated death, continuously fulfills His promises, and offers us eternal hope (Isaiah 53:4-6, John 3:16-18) These truths should anchor our Christmas praise!

If this is indeed our source, then worship will flow in spite of our circumstances, struggles, seasons of life, and emotions. Worship helps us refocus on the eternally important and floods our hearts with love for God and others.

At times, I have found that when I go to worship God, I am in fact grounding my worship in an audacious expectation that my worship will move God to fix my problems, remove an obstacle, or otherwise direct Him to act in my life as I wish. Oh, how arrogant my heart can be without even realizing it! Worship is not meant for me but is a sacrifice of relinquishment to my Savior.

True worship is the very essence of love for the One who Authored life from nothing! The Bible is not shy about the inevitability of hardships in this life. (John 16:33) But in the midst of every trial, we are commanded to praise Him through it (1 Thessalonians 5:14-18) and humbly appreciate even the day God has made simply because He made it. (Psalm 118:24)

Sisters, I encourage you to take time now to pause, thank God for the day He has made,  and remind your heart that God is always worthy of our worship and praise above all else.
Written by Katelyn Palmer
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