Chris’ Prayer

Oh Lord, You have burdened my heart for the lost
My heart breaks at the thought
Of their eternal separation from Your presence

Sin has a tight and powerful grip
Apart from you gracious work of salvation in us
Our eternal destination is sealed

I pray for stony hearts to be turned to flesh
For You to open their eyes so they will see their own sin
Cause them to cry out to You in repentance

A love so great that it moved You
To send Your own Son to die in our stead
A love so powerful sin loses its grip and we are set free

By Susan Bunts Wachtel
February 6, 2011

Dedicated to those who continue to pray for the lost, family, friends, associates, our nation’s leaders and even our enemies. 

Christmas Reflections…Redemption…God’s Divine Plan

“And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS.  He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.  And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”  Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”  And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.”
How does one begin to fully comprehend all that the angel Gabriel prophesied about what God would do through Mary and the birth of Jesus Christ?  Even though this is the essence of Christmas, the very reason we celebrate the birth of Christ, it’s more than a little daunting.  
When the angel tells Mary about the Son that she will bear starting with His name Jesus and through each of His titles, we learn about who He is and the work that He came to do to fulfill the Father’s plan.
“And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS.” – Luke 1:31
A virgin will bring forth a Son.  Mary herself confirms that she was a virgin when she asks, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”  This Son is not the seed of sinful man, but instead He is the Son of God.  He was born of a virgin and thus did not have our sin nature.
Jesus is the Greek form of Joshua, meaning “Jehovah is salvation”.  Even His name tells of the work that Jesus came down to earth to do.  He was sent by God the Father, to save His people from their sin.  How would He accomplish that salvation?  How does a holy, righteous and just God forgive sinful man?  He does it by sending His only begotten Son, the sinless Lamb of God, to die in our place so that His righteousness can be applied to our account…and our sin debt will be paid in full. 
Sinful man cannot save himself.  He may die and even be cast into hell for eternity, but that will never pay his sin debt in full.  Man will never be declared righteous based on his works.
It was only when the blood of Christ is applied to our sin debt that we are washed white as snow.  Have you received Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross to cover your sins?  Have you been clothed by the righteousness of Christ? 
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” – Acts 4:12
When Gabriel tells us that Jesus will be great, he’s not referring to what He will do, but instead it speaks about who He is.  He is grace, truth, mercy, holy, righteous, sovereign, omniscient and omnipotent.  These adjectives are more than just a description about what Jesus is like or what He does…they are the very essence of who He is.   He is great in power, authority and majesty…He is preeminent over all.
Son of the Highest speaks of Jesus divine nature.  He is Son of the Most High God.  Jehovah was called, El Elyon…the Most High God.  This speaks of God’s sovereignty, majesty and His highest preeminence over all.  Jesus tells us that He is one with the Father, if we have seen Him, we have seen the Father. 
“….and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.  And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”  – Luke 1:32 (b)-33
When Gabriel prophesied that God will give Jesus the throne of His father David, he speaks of the fulfillment of God’s promise to David that One will come who will reign on his throne forever.  That His kingdom will never end tells about Jesus eternal sovereign reign over Israel and His kingdom. 
“When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom.  He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.” – 2 Samuel 7:12-13
How does the Son of God who will lay down His life and pay the penalty for our sin reign forever?  How can someone who is dead reign?  He can only do that if He is resurrected from the dead.  Resurrection that gives evidence that God the Father accepted Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. 
What are you celebrating this Christmas?  Are parties and family gatherings a part of your Christmas season?  Are your days filled with shopping, decorating and baking?  Do you make Christmas magical for your children with Santa?
More importantly…do you celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, God come in the flesh…the very reason we have a holiday called Christmas?  If not…why not receive the best gift ever…the gift of Jesus, the Son of God, wrapped in the flesh of a newborn Babe.

A Love Story Never Told

Theirs was a love story never to be told
A tale of deliverance
An outrageous work of God

Even some of God’s saints
Might turn away if the truth were known
Reviling their sinful past

Most would never believe it
Some would say it couldn’t be done
They could never imagine what God would do

Redeeming two very broken souls
Taking bits and pieces and knitting them together into one flesh
Accomplishing what man said is impossible

Some do not believe in miracles today
Certain they are a thing of the past
But these two could tell a different story

Proclaiming the wonders of God’s redemption
Testifying of His marvelous grace
Their lives bearing witness to God’s outrageous love

Susan Bunts Wachtel
July 21, 2009

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Hymns of Old

Hymns of old
So rich in theology
Proclaim the excellencies of Christ Jesus

They tell of His humble birth
His human incarnation
Of the One who was here before the world began

His sinless, perfect life
Of the innocent Lamb
Slain before the foundations of the world

Veiled in human flesh
Yet He is the very essence of God the Father
He set His glory aside that He might redeem the lost

He came to do the will of the Father
The propitiation for our sin
Turning away the Father’s wrath

He suffered like no other
As He hung on Calvary’s cross
Marred beyond recognition as a man

Even bearing the weight of our sin could not compare
To the pain of separation when the Father turned away from the Son
For He who is Holy, Holy, Holy cannot look upon or dwell with sin

Death could not hold Him
The sinless Son of God
He arose victorious from the grave

Today He is seated
At the right hand of the Father
For the work He came to do is finished

By Susan Bunts Wachtel
April 12, 209

While I love all kinds of music…both hymns and choruses…there is nothing quite like the old hymns. They are so rich in theology and Christ centered.

Some of the songs today are very man centered. In focusing on us, we lose the magnificence of God’s plan and Jesus sacrifice for unworthy sinners. We were dead in our sin there is nothing in us that is attractive or deserving of our salvation. It was Jesus Christ and His sacrificial death on the cross in obedience to the Father’s plan that earned our salvation. He paid the debt we owe, but can never pay.

While God’s love motivated His plan of redemption and salvation through His Son Jesus Christ…it was His holiness, righteousness, justice, and wrath that necessitated our sin debt be paid.

May we choose to know God fully as He has revealed Himself in the Word of God.

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