the gates of praise
"My spirit finds joy in God my Savior." —Luke 1:47
Do you feel as though Christ and Christmas are on the other side of a brick wall? If you're looking for a way to get through to Christ, the Bible tells us the name of the gate is "Praise" (Is 60:18). You can praise down brick walls. Look at the walls of Jericho (Jos 6:20). You can praise prison doors open and set captives free (Acts 16:25-26). You may not feel like praising, but don't let your feelings change your praises; let your praises change your feelings and circumstances. We must walk and praise by faith, not by sight (2 Cor 5:7).
Mary proclaimed "the greatness of the Lord" (Lk 1:46). She praised God that the mighty were deposed (Lk 1:52), although Herod didn't look deposed when he slaughtered the innocent (Mt 2:16). Mary praised and prophesied that the rich had been sent away empty (Lk 1:53), although she, Joseph, and Jesus were the ones sent away because there was no room at the inn (Lk 2:7). Mary was praising not because of the circumstances but to cause the circumstances.
Cause Christmas. Open the gates of praise.
Prayer: Holy Spirit, put "high praises" on my lips (Ps 149:6).
Promise: "Now I, in turn, give him to the Lord; as long as he lives, he shall be dedicated to the Lord." —1 Sm 1:28
Praise: "O King of all the nations, the only Joy of every human heart; O Keystone of the mighty arch of man, come and save the creature You fashioned from the dust."
Reference: (Open the gates of praise by reading the Bible every day. We have several tape series that may help you. Overview of the Bible is six audio tapes starting with AV 10A-1 or three video tapes starting with V-10A. 15-minute Bible Teaching - New Testament is 40 audio tapes starting with #700. An Introduction to each Book of the Bible is 32 audio tapes starting with AV 21-1 or 17 video tapes starting with V-21.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 13, 2006
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