The Savior’s Hands Forever Reach Out to Us With Love

A few years ago I saved this picture from a Christmas card. It still fills my heart with awe. The reaching out of Jesus’ Hands forever in love is humbling and amazing at the same time. May our hands also reach out in love to others!

The following poem is on the backside of this photo:

In His Hands

The Hands that made the world
And gave the sun and moon their light
Are the tiny Hands of a baby
Born one cold December night.

 The Hands that still the wind
And tame the fury of the sea

Are the calloused Hands of a carpenter

Who lived in poverty.

 The Hands that held the power
To break the binding chains of sin

Are the gentle Hands that washed the feet

Of tired and dusty men.

 The Hands that cleansed the leper,
Healed the blind, and raised the dead

Are the praying Hands of one who cried,

“Not My will, but Thine instead.”

 The Hands that shaped the universe
And flung the stars in space

Are the nail-pierced Hands of a dying man

Who suffered in our place.

 The Hands of our Creator,
Lord and King of Heaven above,

Are the Savior’s Hands,

Forever r
eaching out to us with love.

 B. J. Hoff

When I searched for Bible verses about God’s hand(s), I was surprised at how many there are. I haven’t begun to find them all and I definitely can’t name them all here, so I’ll just share a few.

“My own hand founded the earth,
and My right hand spread out the heavens;
when I summoned them,
they stood up together.”
Isaiah 48:13 HCSB

“The life of every living thing is in His hand,
as well as the breath of all mankind.”
Job 12:10 HCSB

“Riches and honor come from You,
and You are the ruler of everything.
Power and might are in Your hand,
and it is in Your hand to make great
and to give strength to all.”
1 Chronicles 29:12 HCSB

“Your hands made me and formed me;
give me understanding
so that I can learn Your commands.”
Psalm 119:73 HCSB

 “For the Lord your God dried up the waters
of the Jordan before you until you had crossed over,
just as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea,
which He dried up before us until we had crossed over. 

This is so that all the people of the earth may know
that the Lord’s hand is mighty,
and so that you may always fear
the Lord your God.”

Joshua 4:24 HCSB

“My enemies surround Me like a pack of dogs;
an evil gang closes in on Me.
They have pierced My hands and feet.”
Psalm 22:16 NLT

“See, I have engraved you on the palms of My hands;
your walls are ever before Me.”
Isaiah 49:16 NIV

“Sing a new song to the Lord,
for He has done wonderful deeds.

His right hand has won a mighty victory;
His holy arm has shown His saving power!
Psalm 98:1 NLT

“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
I will hold you up with My victorious right hand.”
Isaiah 41:10 NLT

Your Hands
by JJ Heller

“When my world is shaking, heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave Your hands…”

May God hold you in His loving Hands!

When Hope Came Down

Weighted down by the heavy yoke of oppression from Assyria, God’s chosen people lost hope. The royal family, once a mighty tree with its branches spreading far and wide, was cut down. Only  a stump remained, its roots decaying to nothingness.

It was from this hopeless stump that a tiny shoot sprouted forth. Unnoticed, ignored, and despised by many. Jesus, fully God, was born on the humbled ground of broken humanity. He became like us to suffer with us and for us.

“God became like us so that we might become like Him.
He came to this dung-filled dungeon we call earth and sat with us,
touched us, loved us, and called us to Him.
He also enters into the dungeons of our hearts
and transforms them.”
Diane Langberg

Is your heart deeply troubled? Does it seem like everything is crashing in on you and around you? Does the enemy of our souls pummel you with lies that there will never be any hope for you? That Jesus didn’t come for you, because you are too dirty and worthless?

God has sent His hope for each of us. Not one of us, no matter how badly we have sinned or how dirty and shamed we feel because of sin against us, is too hopeless for God to rescue and redeem. It is His delight to touch us with His love and grace. His arms are open wide to receive us. His passion for our deliverance seeks after us and draws us.

But sometimes our hearts can feel so dark and despairing that we have a hard time believing it, right? The devil works hard to keep our eyes and hearts closed to the hope Jesus has brought to this world. We look within us and are overwhelmed by our brokenness. We look around us and think there is no peace on earth.

And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said:
“For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead; nor doth He sleep!
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men!”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

In the history of Israel, God proved He reigns and His hope will prevail. Though His people suffered yet many more years of oppression at the hands of enemies, God showed that His sprout of Hope gained the victory. The enemies fell away and decayed while the Sprout grew and flourished. The King over all laid down His crown and was born in a stinky stable. Messiah, our promised Deliverer, came to pile on His love and mercy. To pull us up out of the pit. To invite our starving souls to His rich banquet of unconditional love and bottomless grace.

“He knocked tyrants off their high horses,
pulled victims out of the mud.
The starving poor sat down to a banquet;
the callous rich were left out in the cold.
He embraced His chosen child, Israel;
He remembered and piled on the mercies, piled them high.
It’s exactly what He promised,
beginning with Abraham and right up to now.”
Luke 1:52-55 The Message

“When Hope Came Down”
by Kari Jobe

“Oh! May the God of green hope fill you up with joy,
fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives,
filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit,
will brim over with hope!”
Romans 15:13 The Message

Awakening a Childish Wonder to the Lowly Birth of Jesus

Jesus came

We lay on our backs on the lawn in the stillness of the night. Stars winked and dazzled us as my big brother said, “Just wait and watch…”

“There! Did you see it?” he whispered, as if he would spoil the awe of it if he talked too loud.

“Yes! Yes! I saw it! Cool!” I gazed in wonder, waiting for another one.

That was decades ago. When my heart still held childish wonder and delight. Where has it gone? That cause for admiration or astonishment. That emotion of excitement at something new and remarkable.

That’s what I want in this Advent season. I want a renewal of wonder at the birth of Jesus. An excitement at this Gift as if I opened it for the first time. I want to unwrap the deeper layers of it. Not the surface of it with a hollow and empty celebration. I don’t want my heart to be passively content. I want to get excited about the Unspeakable Gift of Jesus coming down to us. I want to be amazed, to be still with awe, to awaken to the wonder of it all.

“The natural gift of wonder God gave us
as children was meant to be kept alive.
Instead we let wonder go to sleep.
We entered the typical dream state of most humans.

Why else does Jesus tell us today,
‘Stay awake!’…Advent says,
‘Wake up and realize the gifts
of love you have received.’”
(Rev. Alfred McBride, O. Praem., The Priest, Oct. ‘87, p.26)

Have we lost that gift of wonder at something so miraculous? Perhaps somewhere along the way, the harsh realities of life have snuffed it out? Has the wondrous miracle of Jesus’ birth become an ordinary yearly event? Are we too busy to ponder it prayerfully in our hearts?

I know we can never fully understand it on this earth, but I’m afraid my heart has become passive to delving deeper into the wonder of God coming down as Man. God was willing to come down and be born in human form, to suffer as a human the excruciating death of the cross for us. To die and rise again so we could be free forever from the punishment due to our sins.

That same Almighty God who has the power to create and hold those stars in the skies came down off His throne. That same God who gave a bright star to guide the wise men to Jesus the Savior humbled Himself to live among the lowly. He came down, down, down… Down to the depths of humanity. Not to be born in a fancy palace, but in a lowly stable, probably stinking from manure. To cry from hunger or pain as other babies do.

What king would ever come down to the level of suffering with the poor? This King would! Now that is great love! Unmatchable, unconditional, unfathomable love!

“For you are recognizing [more clearly] the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ
[His astonishing kindness, His generosity, His gracious favor],
that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor,
so that by His poverty you might become rich (abundantly blessed).”
2 Corinthians 8:9 AMP

Though He was God,
He did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
Instead, He gave up His divine privileges;
He took the humble position of a slave
and was born as a human being.
When He appeared in human form,
He humbled Himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross.”
Phillipians 2:6-8 NLT

“But when the right time came, God sent
His Son, born of a woman, subject to the law.
God sent Him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law,
so that He could adopt us as His very own children.”
Galatians 4:4-5 NLT

I know that in the midst of darkness and suffering, it’s hard to hang onto this hope. But let’s remember it’s the hopeless He has come for. Let’s try to retrieve our childish wonder for such an unimaginable miracle. May we recognize more clearly His astonishing favor for us. May our jaws drop in wonder at the boundless love He has for people filled with the filth of sin. For the broken souls who need His powerful cleansing, healing, and enlightening.

A Child's Trust

“When Love Came Down to Earth”
by Stuart Townend
sung by Kristyn Getty, Margaret Becker, Joanne Hogg

“When love came down to earth
And made His home with men
The hopeless found a hope
The sinner found a friend
Not to the powerful
But to the poor He came
And humble hungry hearts
Were satisfied again”

Dearest Lord Jesus, please give us and renew in us
a childish wonder at Your humble birth.
Thank You for loving us so deeply!

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Linking up with: 

Holley – Coffee For Your Heart 

Jennifer – Tell His Story 

Kelly – Cheerleaders of Faith

Barbie – Weekend Whispers