I love everything about December. The dark mornings. the moody grayness of the sky, the silence of falling snow. Against that somber backdrop, candlelight shines brighter, music rings merrier, and our hearts open wider in expectation.
The Messiah is coming. The Messiah is here. The Messiah will come again.
Our verse this month is a multifaceted wonder:
LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago. Isaiah 25:1
LORD, you are my God;… Isaiah 25:1
A statement of fact. A statement of faith. “You, LORD, are my God!” (CEV). We are boldly proclaiming the proper name of the God of Israel and our deeply personal relationship with Him.
Even after three dozen years of knowing Him, I’m still astounded by this truth — I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine (Song of Songs 6:3).
Is He yours, dear friend? Can you say the words — “Lord, you are my God” — with your whole heart?
If not, perhaps this is your season to fall into His loving embrace. If your answer is yes, this is your next step.
…I will exalt you and praise your name,… Isaiah 25:1
When we love someone and are proud of what they’ve accomplished, we gladly brag about them to anybody who’ll listen. (Grandparents are especially good at this.)
How much more, then, should we brag about our God. He is so worthy of our applause and so deserving of our public praise. That’s why Isaiah declared, “I will honor” (NLT) and “celebrate” (MSG) and “extol your fame” (NET). The Hebrew word literally means “to rise, to lift up.”
The Lizzie Revised Version? “Look at this, everybody!” (LRV)
See, it’s not enough to silently acknowledge His greatness in our prayers. We need to say it aloud. We need to tell the world. We need to speak His Name.
…for in perfect faithfulness… Isaiah 25:1
Isn’t this phrase delicious? Perfect faithfulness. It’s a finished work, something God has already “accomplished” (CJB) and “fulfilled” (AMP) and “faithfully carried out” (GNT).
Your faithfulness never ends, Lord. “You have always done what you said you would do” (EXB). Always.
…you have done wonderful things,… Isaiah 25:1
There it is, our word for 2019: wonderful. “Miracle-wonders” (MSG) like filling Elizabeth with the Holy Spirit. “Marvels” (CJB) like an angel army singing to a flock of awestruck shepherds. And “miraculous things” (AMP) like a virgin giving birth to the Savior of the world.
Yes, Lord, You have done wonderful things. May we always be quick to see and swift to praise. Because miracles don’t occur by happenstance. You planned them from the beginning.
… things planned long ago. Isaiah 25:1
These wonders were “planned and promised since ancient times” (CEV). Before the coming of man. Before the coming of earth. Before the coming of time. So “long, long ago” (AMP) that You alone were present, Lord.
Unlike our plans, which are ever changing, You created “well-thought-out plans, solid and sure” (MSG), the embodiment of “truth unchanging” (JUB).
This is why we speak Your name without apology, Jesus. This is why, especially at Christmastime, we point to the miracle of Your love unfolding and sing with the angels, “Glory to God!”
Heavenly Father, help us always stand in awe of Your perfect faithfulness. In the sweet name of Jesus, Amen.
’Tis the season for stories. So, here’s this month’s special giveaway — a Victorian novella for a fiction reader, a picture book for a little one, and a verse-by-verse look at our Savior’s birth through the eyes of Elizabeth, Mary, and Anna. On Tuesday, December 17, I chose one wonderful winner, Margaret from California, to receive all three of my best-selling Christmas books.
You are still welcome to post your answer to the question, “What would you say to the newborn Jesus, nestled in a manger?”
Your sister, Liz
P.S. If you missed December’s Wonderful Wednesday on Facebook LIVE, watch and listen now as we meet our final Jesus Girl of 2019, Anna the Prophetess from Luke 2. And if you’re curious where I’m speaking next year, take a look at my calendar. We have 20 events scheduled for 2020, with more details to come. Can’t wait to see you!