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Revive Our Hearts  Calling women to freedom, fullness, and fruitfulness in Christ. #ReviveOurHearts

We're big fans of the @journeywomenpodcast, and we just adore @betsytgomez, the @avivanuestroscorazones blog manager and media supervisor! Her love for Jesus overflows into contagious joy. Betsy is this week's guest on the Journeywomen Podcast, and her words about biblical remembrance are life-giving. ⠀

Why does the discipline of remembering matter? We love what Betsy says: ⠀

“The problem is that sin has distorted all things, including our capacity to keep the truth in mind. Sin has made us forgetful.”⠀

We need to remember God's faithfulness—to generations past, and to us, right here, today. Because our sinful hearts are so forgetful, we need to remember God's Words to us. We need His Truth in our hearts. We need to recount His goodness in our lives. ⠀

“The Bible was written as a memorial to God’s people. The fact that God’s Word is a book with a message that has been passed down from generation to generation is an indicator itself that we need to remember the truth and hold fast to it. So we see that throughout the story line of the Bible, God remembering his covenantal relationship with his people.”⠀

Tap the link in our bio to listen to Betsy's conversation with Journeywomen host Hunter Beless! ⠀

"Mary revealed her own heart's true hunger in how she responded to the angel Gabriel's message, after he'd told her what God had planned for her life. 'Behold,' she said, 'I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word' (Luke 1:38). To be God's 'servant' (or as the King James Version says it, His 'handmaid') represented in her time and place the lowest form of hired indenture. A handmaid had no plans of her own. She existed to serve her master. Her life was utterly at his disposal. Mary's reason for living, she was saying, was found in doing whatever would please the Lord. ⠀

No, the demands themselves may not have been in line with what she most wanted at the time. Not everything was immediately appetizing. But rather than being so full of herself that she felt entitled to resist Him, she believed the fulfillment He promised would prove far more satisfying than whatever she could obtain or protect by insisting on her way. ⠀

How many blessings do we miss experiencing because we try holding on to our lives, our reputations, our rights, our time, our convenience, our comfort? Those things are not what we most need. What we truly need are the 'good things' He gives to all who are hungry. Hungry for only one thing. For Him." ⠀

@nancydemoss #ROHadvent

Visit the First Songs of Christmas blog for today's post!

God is sovereign. Everywhere in Scripture we're told of it. Though evil appears to triumph, the Lord has declared that He will have the final word. ⠀

In just a little while, the wicked will be no more; ⠀
though you look carefully at his place, he will not be there. ⠀
But the meek shall inherit the land⠀
and delight themselves in abundant peace. (Ps. 37:10-11)⠀

Mary knew these ways of God—His contempt for the proud, His heart for the humble, and His iron-clad assurance that His Word will be accomplished, one way or another. In fact, she herself would have a front-row seat to witness one of history's greatest evidences that no one, no government, no opposition—nothing—can thwart the eternal plan of God." ⠀

@nancydemoss #ROHadvent

Visit the First Songs of Christmas blog for more 🌲Link in bio!

When life hurts, when it takes unexpected turns, when darkness sets in, when we can’t imagine a way forward, we need hope—genuine, sustaining hope. ⠀

It’s in Jesus Christ that we discover all the hope we’ll ever need. ⠀

Revive Our Hearts is here to point you to True Hope. To Jesus. ⠀

In 2019, our mission at Revive Our Hearts is to provide True Hope in Christ—through podcasts, Bible studies, events, and more. It’s your generosity that makes this mission possible. Will you prayerfully consider linking arms with us—so that we can reach more women with hope in Christ? ⠀

Tap the link in our bio to learn how your gifts make a massive impact in sharing True Hope. ⠀

"If you're a child of God, no matter what may be going on in your life, you can life your eyes upward from your circumstances. You can look beyond yourself and see that the God of the Bible is the God of today. He is the sovereign Lord over every moment of your life—past, present, and future. And He is always at work redeeming you. He is always actively engaged in giving you reason for rejoicing. Even if your eyes are legitimately, understandably filled with tears, He is still doing 'great things' for you . . . 'great things' worthy of your notice and worship, 'great things' worthy of being told and talked about. ⠀

Mary probably had a million questions about why events were happening to her. How was she supposed to handle this pregnancy? How could she tell her parent? How did God expect her to get through this? Perhaps she laid out all these concerns to Elizabeth during the months she stayed at her house. But what we know for certain is that Mary embraced even her fears and apprehensions as an opportunity to exalt the Lord. And she not only felt the praise and gratitude in her own heart, but she expressed it verbally so that others could hear it and be blessed. She was overwhelmed that a holy God would notice her, that He would give her the privilege of playing a part in the Story of redemption, as that mission involved hardship on her part."⠀

@nancydemoss #ROHadvent

Read today's First Songs of Christmas advent blog post! Link in bio!

"Mary was just an ordinary young woman. Nothing indicates she'd been born into a wealthy, famous family. From all accounts, she was an average, small-town teenage girl, and likely no one within the slender orbit of her acquaintances envisioned a spectacular future ahead for her. ⠀

Yet watch what happened. 'God looked on the humble estate of his servant.' He shook this young girl’s world one day, and everything changed. From that point forward, she said 'all generations will call me blessed.' And we, as members of one of those future generations more than two thousand years hence, can all attest to the accuracy of that statement. Her relationship with Jesus gave her life genuine significance. ⠀

This principle embedded in her statement is true not only of her but of us as well. When you think of yourself and your prospects for making much of a difference in the world, you may see only a plain, simple person without a lot of skills or promise or distinguishing characteristics. Nothing special. (On the other hand, you may feel that others should be more impressed than they seem to be with your training and gifts and contacts and potential.) ⠀

Only one thing matters, however, and it should serve as both an encourager and corrective to us. Having a relationship with the God of heaven makes any life extraordinary—and is all that makes a life extraordinary. Mary's experience of amazement can be yours as well when the Lord is with you and within you." ⠀

@nancydemoss #ROHadvent

Visit the First Songs of Christmas blog every day this month as you journey through the Advent devo with us! Link in bio.

"We see that Mary, despite her lack of formal schooling, despite not having a copy of the Hebrew Scriptures lying around the house—certainly not in every color and size and translation and binding—was a young woman of the Word. She was familiar with it. She'd been exposed to it. Apparently, she'd heard it often at synagogue when she'd gone there to worship. ⠀

But more than just hearing it, she'd internalized it. She had listened to it. She had grown familiar with it. She had retained it. She loved it . . . so that when she opened her mouth to speak, when she went to the Lord in prayer and praise, what came out was the Word of God. ⠀

If we are going to be used of Him in our generation, we too must saturate our hearts and minds in the Scripture. We must know it, live it, breathe it, speak it. We must be lifelong people of His Word." @nancydemoss #ROHadvent

As you're reading "The First Songs of Christmas," you can also follow along with us on our special Advent blog for daily encouragement, recipes, crafts, and more! Link in bio.

,"Elizabeth's song—the Beatitude—is a touching and tender, yet powerful, testament to the vital importance of having fellowship with like-minded believers. We are not intended to be self-sufficient. We need each other. We need to spend time with people who have a thriving relationship with God if we expect to be strong in our own faith and to strengthen them in theirs.⠀

Mary needed this blessing that Elizabeth spoke over her. She needed what the Spirit was saying to her through her dear friend and older cousin . . . ⠀

Mary was arguably in the most difficult circumstance a young woman could imagine. Think about what she had to be willing to embrace if she were to say yes to the plan of God in her life. She had to be willing to become pregnant under a cloud of mystery, willing to carry the child to term, and willing to endure the inevitable misunderstanding and ridicule that came from her unique situation. She had no verifiable way of refuting others' claims that she'd been either unfaithful to Joseph or involved immorally with him. In addition, according to the Old Testament law, she could possibly be subject to stoning for this alleged offense. What she was really saying, then, by surrendering to God's purpose was, 'I am willing to give up my life to do what He says.'⠀

To this woman, Elizabeth said, 'Blessed is she was has believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.' To this woman, Elizabeth said that God would bless her with full satisfaction in Him if she would believe what He had promised." ⠀

@nancydemoss #ROHadvent

"Elizabeth had so much to talk about. Imagine the stories and testimony an older woman in her situation could tell. It had been an unbelievable six months since the angelic announcement concerning her pregnancy, yet she'd spent most of that time in seclusion, keeping everything to herself. And with her husband unable to communicate, having been struck dumb by the angel for his disbelief, the sudden sight of Mary at the door must have felt like—finally, an audience! Someone she could talk to! ⠀
But see where Elizabeth focused her attention instead. ⠀

Not on herself, but on Mary. I love the picture here of an older woman ministering to a younger woman. Rather than assuming that her age, status, and experience made her the most important participant in this relationships, Elizabeth humbled herself. She recognized that God was doing something special in Mary's life, and she placed first priority on making sure she met the needs of her guest above her own." @nancydemoss

• ⠀
For more, follow along with us on the First Songs of Christmas blog every day this month! #ROHadvent

Words matter. They can encourage or tear down. They can heal or hurt. They can be led by self or led by the Holy Spirit.⠀

When Mary visits Elizabeth in the first chapter of Luke, Elizabeth’s words of blessing come not from being filled with happiness but from being filled with the Holy Spirit.⠀

When Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!” (vv. 41–42).⠀

Elizabeth yields to the Holy Spirit, and her words are guided by that same Spirit. In The First Songs of Christmas, Nancy reminds us that the Holy Spirit is where Elizabeth’s blessing came from.⠀

She actually had no way of knowing Mary’s news, except that the Spirit had given her revelation. He provided her both the insight and incentive to bless Mary in a way that celebrated what her young relative was experiencing.⠀

I want to be aware of how the Holy Spirit leads me, especially in my conversations with others. Don’t you? Too often we are led by busyness and stress, which in turn lead our conversations.⠀

Follow along with us on the First Songs of Christmas blog every day in December! Link in bio. #ROHadvent

Let's welcome December together as we open "The First Songs of Christmas" and turn to Day 1. #ROHadvent

"This year, as you prepare for Christmas, don't start with what you already know of the story. Imagine yourself instead in the heart of a young girl to whom the events of Luke 1 occurred on just another ordinary day, in a place where impossible things never happened. She didn't wake up that morning expecting an angel to visit. She had no way of knowing ahead of time what God had chosen her to do, much less how He intended to do it. She was likely thinking of little else besides her plans for getting married and living happily into the future with her future husband. She held in her mind, as perhaps you hold in yours, a simple little picture of what life was to be like—a picture framed by nothing but possible outcomes. ⠀

Yet before her name became written in Scripture, before her likeness was carved and colored into countless nativity scenes—before Christmas became somehow easy for us to believe—⠀

Mary believed. She believed the impossible." ⠀

Along with each daily devotional reading, you can also follow along with our daily Advent blog to unwrap even more wonder. ⠀

The link is in our bio!

"Abandoning lies and walking in the Truth is not a formulaic, mechanical self-help process. We cannot simply change our minds, chant a few words, and find ourselves walking in freedom. Because of the pervasive and destructive nature of the Enemy's lies, we are all deeply broken by sin, and we are dependent on the Spirit and the Word of God to transform our thinking. ⠀

The cross stands as a monument to freedom for sinners of all time. There Jesus took our guilt on Himself and endured the pain of the cross so we could be truly free. ⠀

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. | Galatians 5:1⠀

Though it may sound elementary at first, it's a revolutionary, liberating truth that because Christ set us free, we can live free. He did the heavy lifting to remove the yoke of sin from our shoulders. Because of the cross, freedom really is possible!" @nancydemoss in #LiesWomenBelieve

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