And from there he arose and went away to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And he entered a house and did not want anyone to know, yet he could not be hidden.
But immediately a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit heard of him and came and fell down at his feet.
Now the woman was a Gentile, a Syrophoenician by birth. And she begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. 27 And he said to her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not right to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs.”
But she answered him, “Yes, Lord; yet even the dogs under the table eat the children's crumbs.”
29 And he said to her, “For this statement you may go your way; the demon has left your daughter.”
30 And she went home and found the child lying in bed and the demon gone.
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
3 For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his pinions,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
5 You will not fear the terror of the night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
8 You will only look with your eyes
and see the recompense of the wicked.
9 Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place—
the Most High, who is my refuge—
10 no evil shall be allowed to befall you,
no plague come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways.
12 On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the adder;
the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.
14 “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;
I will protect him, because he knows my name.
15 When he calls to me, I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”
A Facebook friend, Malone, has said today:
As I listen to Christians in America, it seems to me that the vast majority of us are de facto Semi-Pelagianists.
God’s grace makes us uneasy. Grace doesn’t feel right or fair. It’s like we’re getting something we don’t deserve or didn’t have to work for at all; that we didn’t get it the old fashioned way by earning it. It’s as if Someone gave us something exceptionally amazing at Christmas, something it turns out that we really loved and needed, and it’s not that we just forgot to get Him anything in return, we actually chose not to get Him anything at all. EXACTLY. And, for me, that’s what puts the “Merry” in Christmas.
An idea we have been thinking on for two millenniums - what we owe God and His ability, in effect, to come out of the larger Tupperware box we place Him in.
We debate Christmas.
The commercialism. What goes around comes around. Oliver Cromwell made England without Christmas for 18 years. If you had a ham on Christmas Day - you might be placed in the stockades. "Christ's Mass" had a ring of Roman Catholicism about it, the season was changed to "Christ tide" and any celebration confined to one day - of fasting. Shops were forced to stay open - business as usual.
Grace wasn't given to this Holy Day. And Grace from Love is the reason for the Gift.
Today. This is the Day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. God lists Joy as the second fruit of His Holy Spirit.
Christmas - Jesus Christ the Lord - is a Gift.
7 so that in the ages to come He might show
the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Joy is remembered. In this life - Joy is something rare and to be treasured.
The Christmas Truce (German: Weihnachtsfrieden; French: Trêve de Noël) - unofficial ceasefires along the Western Front of World War I around Christmas 1914. In the week leading up to the holy day, German and British soldiers crossed trenches to exchange seasonal greetings and talk. In areas, men from both sides ventured into no man's land on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to mingle and exchange food and souvenirs.
If I had to pick being Cromwell Go Along with Current Ideas or Silent Night Christmas Truce, I'd far rather be the verve in that Silent Night. I'd rather be included in the wonder of love and the miraculous acts of God found in the Christmas Truce. I'd put forth my brain to ask in the Sovereignty of God, if really December 25th is the Real Date of the Birth of Christ. I'd rather be leaning upon God's authority than rest safely in the what of what of every day.
When we gathered recently to remember what our best Christmas memories were - it wasn't the cap gun or the video game or the doll - we remembered the loved ones who gathered to celebrate the Birth of Jesus. The Gift of Christmas is the Love we give. And the time we have given to us by loved ones.
The Joy of God is remembered far longer than all other -
Father God, help me to remember gratitude and the joy seen in today. Thank You that Grace is indeed unearned. We thank You that You are still working and the faith is mysterious because Your ways are not ours. The joy in Looking Upward and away from ourselves. Give us your good gifts, and help us to be loving and grateful. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen
♔ Lord Jesus Saves †