Friday, December 23, 2016

26 Devotions Focusing on Christ in the Nativity Alphabet--Zion

Nativity Alphabet by Krista Hamrick

Krista Hamrick’s beautiful original art print, Nativity Alphabet, has so inspired me. Each of the 26 words in the Nativity Alphabet are so intricately painted, almost like stained glass windows. My heart has been drawn to write 26 Devotions Focusing on Christ in the Nativity Alphabet.

While pondering the word, “Zion,” I was inspired by Hillsong United’s anointed Zion Acoustic Sessions while studying Psalm 9:11

ERV: Sing praises to the Lord, who sits as King in Zion. Tell the nations about the great things he has done.

Expanded: Sing praises to the Lord who is king on Mount [dwells on] Zion [the location of the Temple]. Tell the nations [among the peoples] what he has done.

NCV: Sing praises to the Lord who is king on Mount Zion. Tell the nations what he has done.

Benson Commentary: "As the special residence of his glory is in heaven, so the special residence of his grace is in his church, of which Zion was a type: there he meets his people with his promises and graces, and there he expects they should meet him with their praises and services. Declare among the people his doings—Not only among the Israelites, but to the heathen nations, that they may also be brought to the knowledge and worship of the true God. Sing praises to the Lord—As the result of these views of his character, and at the remembrance of his doings. The heart of the psalmist is full of exultation and joy at the remembrance of the divine interposition, and he naturally breaks out into these strong expressions, calling on others to rejoice also. Which dwelleth in Zion—As Zion was the place where at this time the tabernacle was set up, and the worship of God was celebrated, it is spoken of as his dwelling-place. Declare among the people his doings—Make general and wide proclamation of what he has done; that is, make him known abroad, in his true character, that others may be brought also to put their trust in him, and to Praise him."

Pastor John Gill writes: “The psalmist having determined in the strength of grace to praise the Lord himself, and show forth all his marvelous works, and given his reasons for it, both with respect to himself in particular, and with respect to the people of God in general, here calls upon others to engage in the same work; the Lord is not only to be praised, which may be done by celebrating the perfections of his nature, and the works of his hands; by giving him thanks for mercies temporal and spiritual, and by living to his glory; but his praises are to be sung by a modulation of the voice in musical notes, as the word used signifies; where the same word is used of the singing of birds; and this is to be done by the saints jointly, in concert together, as Paul and Silas in prison sang the praises of God; and there is great reason why they should join together in this work, since they share the blessings of divine grace in common together. Jehovah, to whom praises are to be sung, is described as the inhabitant of Zion, the ark and tabernacle being there before the temple was built, which were symbols of the divine Presence. God by his essence and power is everywhere, he fills heaven and earth, and cannot be contained in either; his glorious presence is in heaven; his gracious presence is in his church and among his people; where they dwell he dwells, and where he dwells they dwell: hence the church is called by the same name as the Lord is here, the inhabitant of Zion; and this description of him points out the place where his praises are to be sung, in Zion; who are to sing them, the members of the church; and the reason why, because the Lord dwells in Zion; and is there a refuge for his people, and protects them.” 

What does it mean to trust the Lord, the King of Zion? It means looking to Him as the source of our security and putting our faith in the grace, love, power, and protection of God when the inevitable pressures of life come. It means knowing as the psalmist did that as the mountains surround and protect Zion, the city of Jerusalem, God himself surrounds and shields His people. When we trust the Lord, we don’t have to focus on the wicked and what they are doing or might do to us. We don’t have to rehash our own woes. Even though there are problems the size of mountains facing us, we can cry out to the Lord who created the mountains and is able to move them. As we sing praises to Him, and focus on Him and His truth, He will encourage our hearts and help us to tell the nations about the great things He has done!

Lord Jesus, King of Zion, I put my trust in You today. You are my security and protection, my shield, my fortress, and my hiding place, and I sing praises to You. When enemies surround me and troubles multiply, help me to remember that You are ever faithful and that You surround and protect me, both now and forever. Thank You for the free gift of salvation, that we are justified on the basis of Your finished work on the Cross. Thank You that, right now, we are under the completely sufficient imputed righteousness of Christ. Because we have placed our trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ, we are redeemed by Your precious blood. The threat of failure, judgment, and condemnation has been removed. Knowing that God’s love for us and approval of us will never be determined by our performance is the most encouraging promise to which we cling—what great things You have done! In Jesus' name we pray, amen.

Look Up—meditate on Psalm 9:11 …pray to see what it reveals about the character of God.

Look In
—as you meditate on Psalm 9:11 …pray to see how you might apply it to your life. Be propelled to ask galvanizing questions about your discoveries: "Because God is_________, I will_____________."

Look Out—as you meditate on Psalm 9:11…pray to see how you might apply it to your relationships with others. Let the nature of God impact on every relationship, for your good, and for His glory.

* If you liked this post, you’ll love this book – 
Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ

Weekly LinkUps…


  1. What an encouragement to know that the Heavenly Zion awaits us and that God surrounds us as the hills surround the earthly Zion. We have so much to be thankful for!

    1. Amen, Michele! I so agree with you! Many blessings to you and your sweet family for the new year ❤️

  2. Thanks for sharing more about Zion. I like to allow the nature of God to impact everything I do. More for His glory!

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Kelly...many blessings to you ❤️

  3. The deeper you dig into scripture the more there is to learn. God has made it like that hasn't He? I love this artist. Thanks for sharing it!


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