advent, Bible, Christian Writer, christmas, Glorifying Jesus, Jesus, Redeemer, The Word of God

ADVENT 24: LOVE CAME DOWN

LOVE CAME DOWN AT CHRISTMAS

He has many Names

And the greatest of all is Love.

Love came down at Christmas

Love all lovely, love divine.

Love, He is Love.

Love incarnate

Love clothed Him with human flesh. Love planned it before the beginning of time. Love humbled Himself and crept silently, yet powerfully, into a troubled world. Love challenged hatred, fear, shame and oppression. Love took a willing girl and grew within her. Love spoke to a troubled man and calmed him to obedience. Love drew shepherds in wonder and kings in worship.

The word LOVE in a white heart, on a background of all the Names of Jesus in lilac coloured script.

Love opened His arms wide and embraced a world yet to know Him, giving all of Himself. Love that was, and is and ever more will be. Love that saves, redeems, restores and sustains. Love that embraces us still, every day and into eternity.

Love came down at Christmas. Wonderful Love, we embrace you, we bow in reverence before You, we worship You, we give ourselves to You.

Joy Margetts is a published author and blogger. Her books are works of Christian Historical fiction. Set in medieval Wales against the backdrop of Cistercian abbey life, they tell stories of faith, hope and God’s redemptive power. Her debut novel ‘The Healing‘ was published by Instant Apostle on 19 March 2021. Joy has also self- published a short novella, ‘The Beloved‘ as both a companion to ‘The Healing‘, and as an easy to read standalone story, which is available to buy on Amazon Kindle.

The Pilgrim‘, her second full length novel, was published by Instant Apostle on 22 July 2022

More information on Joy, and her books can be found here www.joymargetts.com


advent, Bible, Christian Writer, Glorifying Jesus, Jesus, Names of Christ, The Word of God

ADVENT 1: JESUS – SERVANT

This year I am going to attempt to do something I have never done before, on this blog at least. Today marks the first day of Advent and I am going to attempt to post a blog every day, right up until Christmas.

A few years ago I did a series of studies on the names and descriptors of Jesus, primarily taken from the Old Testament Messianic prophecies. I have long wanted to develop these and so this year I am going to include them in this blog, in association with quotes from my books. I want to focus on Jesus, more than ever this Christmas, when there are so many difficult things going on in the world. I hope that you will follow along with me, and be taken up with the myriad ways Jesus is presented in Scripture. That you will see more and more just how wonderful He is.

SERVANT

Isaiah is an Old Testament book full of prophecy, and within it’s pages are many references to the coming Messiah.  These use many different names and ways of describing the coming Saviour. The one I want to focus on today on mentioned in Isaiah 42:1, and echoed in Is 43:10 and Isa 49 : 6.

Image shows the words of Isaiah 42 v 1 surrounded by a wreath of evergreen and holly berries

Through Isaiah’s prophetic words God describes the one to come as ‘My Servant’. We know this was a prophecy about Jesus as Matthew quotes it in Matt 12:18-21. Reading Isaiah 42:1-4  we can see that this Servant will carry the Spirit of God and will bring justice  – a form of justice that doesn’t crush the already bruised. In Isaiah 49 : 6 it tells us He will come bringing light to the gentiles, and salvation to the ends of the earth.

Image shows the words of Isaiah 49 v 6 surrounded by a wreath of evergreen and holly berries

BOND SERVANT

In the New testament, in Phil 2:7, Paul describes Jesus as the one who came as a ‘bond servant’ – one who knows they have no rights of their own and yet are willingly submitted to obey and serve the one in authority over them. Jesus willingly left behind any rights He had as God’s Son and took the form of a servant, demonstrating this in the washing of the disciples’ feet in John 13. He came willingly submitted to God’s authority and lovingly enslaved to Him, obedient to the cross. It was His choice and God honoured Him for it ‘my elect one in whom my soul delights’ (Is 42:1).

Image shows a mans hands holding and drying another man's foot with a rag

Image courtesy of freebibleimages.org

He came as a servant in order to bring about our salvation, and in doing so Jesus gave us the supreme example.  But did coming as a servant lessen His power, authority or kingship? No! That is the most amazing thing. He came as a servant, but also as a king. He showed us that true leadership requires humility, compassion and a servant heart. To those we are called to serve, and towards the One who calls us.

The Servant King shows us that we are called to be lovingly enslaved to God, and lovingly enslaved to one another.

In the areas of your life where you have authority, how can you follow Christ’s example of being a servant?

But kneeling to serve doesn’t lessen Father Abbot’s authority, or the respect he engenders. In fact, it does the opposite. We watch him pour himself out and we want to follow his example. He leads us with a quiet and loving authority, even disciplining us when necessary. But because we know the goodness of his heart, his inert humility, his love for his fellow man, we take the discipline and the encouragement with equal gratitude. He is being as Christ was, you see, the Servant King. He does not abuse his position of authority by lording it over us, rather he uses it to teach us a better way. The mark of a true godly leader.’

‘The Pilgrim’ pp 176-177

Joy Margetts is a published author and blogger. Her books are works of Christian Historical fiction. Set in medieval Wales against the backdrop of Cistercian abbey life, they tell stories of faith, hope and God’s redemptive power. Her debut novel ‘The Healing‘ was published by Instant Apostle on 19 March 2021. Joy has also self- published a short novella, ‘The Beloved‘ as both a companion to ‘The Healing‘, and as an easy to read standalone story, which is available to buy on Amazon Kindle.

The Pilgrim‘, her second full length novel, was published by Instant Apostle on 22 July 2022

More information on Joy, and her books can be found here www.joymargetts.com

Bible, Christian Marriage, Christian Writer, Diamond Anniversary, Diamonds in the bible, Glorifying Jesus, God's faithfulness, In His image, Refined by God, The Word of God, Wedding Anniversary

Diamonds Are Forever

Sorry, I’ve now injected you with an earworm haven’t I? I bet even now you are singing it in your head with your very best Shirley Bassey impression… ‘Dimunds are ForeVERRRR’.

Picture of large single cut diamond on lilac background
A single cut diamond

Diamonds are indeed one of the hardest, most enduring substances on earth, (although whether they will actually last forever, only God knows). They are not only highly valued as gemstones, with their clarity, cut and brilliant ability to scatter light, they are also used as cutting tools in a great number of industries. In fact the vast majority of diamonds mined today are used this way.

Anniversary Celebration

This week we are celebrating our parents Diamond Wedding Anniversary. To reach a 60th wedding anniversary is an amazing achievement, especially in today’s world. Like a diamond, a long lasting marriage is a rare and beautiful thing. That diamonds are also symbols of endurance and resilience is also apt. Marriage needs those too!

Picture of old couple standing together, smiling, by a statute of Churchill, surrounded by trees
Happy Diamond Anniversary!

Now I’ve had a ringside seat to much of my parents’ marriage. I can tell you that it has not all been romance and roses. It has taken hard work, endurance and patience. It has involved forgiveness, self-sacrifice and compromise. It has also been an amazing example of love, faithfulness and devotion. Towards each other, to their ever growing family, to their friends, to those in need – and most importantly, to God. Their marriage has lasted because God brought them together and God has kept them together. And I for one, am extremely grateful for that. My family and I have the privilege of living in that amazing legacy.

I read somewhere that diamonds are ‘symbols of purity, unity, love, wealth and abundance’. How fitting then to be used in reference to a long lasting marriage -both are priceless gems that have stood the test of time.

Diamonds in the Bible

For the purpose of this blog I researched if diamonds were mentioned in the Bible and found, interestingly, that there is some division of opinion. Different words have been translated as ‘diamond’ in different translations. There is the reference in Exodus 39:11 to one of the twelve stones on the High Priest’s breastplate that represented the tribes of Israel. There is the obscure reference to hearts as hard as ‘really hard gemstones’ in Zechariah 7:12, that some have translated as diamonds. I have read some commentators that believe the sea of crystal glass that John described seeing before the Throne of God in Revelation 4:6, is actually made of diamonds. If so – diamonds will be forever, I suppose!

Diamonds forever

I think the most important thing here is to recognise that for anything to have true lasting worth it has to be given over to God. God can take a marriage full of human frailty and make it into a monument to His goodness and faithfulness. The true worth of a diamond only comes in it’s cutting and shaping. God can take any one of us – like uncut pieces of rock mined from the earth – and through His work in us, cutting, shaping, forming, polishing – make our lives into something pure, valuable and beautiful. And our lives, formed and shaped by Him, will indeed last forever, to shine and reflect His glory for eternity.

Image showing the text of 2 Corinthians 3 verse 18, against a background of diamonds
2 Corinthians 3:18 NLT

Joy Margetts is a published author and blogger. Her books are works of Christian Historical fiction. Set in medieval Wales against the backdrop of Cistercian abbey life, they tell stories of faith, hope and God’s redemptive power. Her debut novel ‘The Healing‘ was published by Instant Apostle on 19 March 2021. Joy has also self- published a short novella, ‘The Beloved‘ as both a companion to ‘The Healing‘, and as an easy to read standalone story, which is available to buy on Amazon Kindle.

The Pilgrim‘, her second full length novel, was published by Instant Apostle on 22 July 2022

More information on Joy, and her books can be found here www.joymargetts.com