God’s Presence in the Arts ~ 1 . . .

Joshua 24:15

This painting is one of the eleven that I painted last year 2020. I have been inspired in recent years to paint worship songs. The one above was inspired by Joshua Aaron’s song ‘You Are Holy’. It is from Joshua 24:15 ~

“And if it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

It is a declaration I make every morning over my family and for those for whom I am praying. In this time of uncertainty that has come upon us, it is so critical that we seek God with all our hearts, for He is the only one who can save.

As Christians, we have talked about the end times as described in Daniel, the Gospels and Revelation, to name a few references, but I don’t think we ever seriously saw ourselves in those times. Well, many Christians today, myself included, are convinced that we are now in the last days of the last days. In other words, if our existence could be measured pertaining to a clock, then I’m pretty convinced we are at one miniute to midnight.

All that is happening in the world, such as the wars and rumours of wars, rioting around the globe, authorities attempting to dehumanize us by forcing opinions on us, wanting to mandate inoculations and what we put into our bodies and so much more, are symptoms of a world in decline.

We need to decide which god we are going to serve: the god of humanism and worldliness and couldn’t-care-less-about-anyone-else-but-myself, or the God who made us and the whole universe. He knows what He is doing and often uses the bad things that happen to us to get our attention, so that we will return to Him, or maybe come to Him for the first time.

There really is a Devil, and he wreaks havoc upon this fallen world with his lies, hatred, deceptions and delusions. Our Heavenly Father is a God of love and He does not send viruses and destruction upon us.  But He does at times allow these things to happen, and doesn’t stop them, wanting us to call on Him for help instead of continuing in our own strength without Him.

Sometimes we need extreme circumstances in our lives to cause us to fall to our knees and call out for God’s help.

There are events yet to happen, according to the Word of God, that I would like to talk about in my next post, because I want you to be ready, prepared, and with me when they happen.

“I am the [only] Way [to God] and the [real] Truth and the [real] Life; no-one comes to the Father but through Me.” Jesus ~ John 14:6 AMP

Advent of the Coming King . . .

2The word Advent comes from the Latin word Adventus, which means ‘Coming’. Many Christians around the world observe Advent by recognising the four weeks leading up to Christmas as a chance to prepare themselves for this special event on the Christian calendar. This year, Tuesday 27th November marks the first of four candles that will be lit, sometimes in the form of a wreath, to signal in the coming of this special event. Each week a new candle is lit until the four weeks mark the lighting of all.
But what is it we are celebrating? What is it we are waiting for?

Of course, it is the Birth of the Baby Jesus.
But it’s more . . . It’s the coming of the Messiah. What does this mean to us?

Matthew 2:6 quotes the Old Testament (OT) book of Micah, “And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah, are by no means least among the leaders of Judah; for out of you shall come forth a ruler, Who will shepherd My people  Israel.”

The OT was written to create an anticipation of, and pave the way, for the coming of Christ. Throughout the entire OT are predictions and foregleams of His coming. By the time we come to the end of the OT, the entire story of Christ has been  pre-written in language and symbol, which, taken as a whole, cannot refer to any other person in history.

As woman (Eve) fell in the garden of Eden, so through a woman (Mary) would mankind be redeemed (Gen 3:15) Abel’s offering, the call of Abraham, the institution of the Passover, many of David’s psalms, a great deal of the prophets, and much, much more all through the OT lead us to that glorious night in Bethlehem well over 2,000 years ago when God became flesh and dwelt among us, in the persona of His Son Jesus, the Christ, the long-awaited Messiah.

Isaiah 7:13,14 says, “O house of David . . . a virgin shall conceive, and shall bear a son, and shall call His name  Immanuel.” (which means ‘God with us’)

 

Isaiah 9: 1,2,6,7 says, “In Galilee . . . the people have seen a great light . . . For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, from henceforth even forever.”

 

Jeremiah 23:5,6 says, “The days come, says the Lord, that I will raise up unto David a righteous branch, a King, this is His Name whereby He shall be called, ‘The Lord Our Righteousness’.”

 

Early in the OT it is stated that the Hebrew nation was  being founded for the blessing of all nations (Gen 12:3, 18:18, 22:18) Then we begin to see One Person through whom this will be accomplished. First He is called Shiloh, then He is called Star, then a Prophet like Moses, then He is spoken of over and over as King, Prince, Anointed One, First Born, Wonderful, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. It was foretold He would be born of a virgin, at Bethlehem, and spend some time in Egypt, and be raised in Nazareth.

It is an incredibly important event we celebrate each year, but sadly buried under a heap of tinsel, carousing and over-spending, that leaves many buried under a pile of debt and disillusionment. This is not what God intended when He sent His only Son from the glorious beauty of paradise, to earth. For us. Just for us.

It’s an unbelievably amazing thing He came to earth to do. For us.

Let’s celebrate His Birth with the respect He deserves, and not over-indulge in any way, but from this week until the date in December that we’ve chosen to celebrate this momentous event in history, be aware of and anticipate His coming with joyful hearts, and  generosity for those less fortunate.
Not everybody does the advent candles. But they represent the Light of the world, Jesus.

John 14:6 says, “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life; no-one comes to the Father, but through Me.”