DAY 15:  December 16, 2019 (15th Day of Advent)



(yah-WEH yir-EH)

“The Lord Who Provides”


Abraham named the place Yahweh-Yireh (which means “the Lord will provide”). To this day, people still use that name as a proverb: “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”

Genesis 22:14 (NLT)


God tested Abraham with one of the greatest tests of faith recorded in the Bible.  He asked Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac, on one of the outcroppings on top of Mount Moriah, which is in the center of what was later called Jerusalem.  Abraham did not delay to obey the Lord as they left early the next morning.  I believe Isaac was probably 37 years old when this happened.  After they had traveled for 3 days, Abraham left the servants behind and traveled on with Isaac, carrying the fire and placing the wood on Isaac’s back.  As they headed off Isaac asked, “Father, we have the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the offering?”  Abraham answered, “Yahweh, Himself, will provide the ram.”


When they arrived at the place God led them (and I believe we will learn one day that the exact hill on top of Mount Moriah where this took place was known in Jesus’ day as Golgotha or Calvary), Isaac climbed up on the altar to offer himself willingly in obedience to his father’s will.


As Abraham lifted the knife to Isaac’s throat, the Angel of the Lord (who is the Preincarnate Son of God) stopped Abraham from going through with the offering of his son.  Abraham looked up and saw a ram that was caught in a bush and offered him instead of his son.


Two thousand years later, in the same exact location, on the same hill, in obedience to His Father, the Son of God climbed willingly upon the cross to offer Himself as the sacrifice provided by the Lord to bring an end to sin and death.  The Father has already proven He is the Lord Who Provides.  Jesus is the Provision!


What Abraham was stopped from doing, the Father finished!  Think of what this means for us,


He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?

Romans 8:32 (NKJV)


When I turned in my resignation at my previous church I can remember how anxious I was about my future.  The morning of the meeting I happened to drive by my old neighborhood where we had built a home in 1979.  Since the neighborhood was new, everyone planted little trees in their yards.  When I turned into the main drive 32 years later I was amazed by the size of those trees.  They were huge.  At that moment the Lord spoke to my heart and asked, “Those trees were planted more than 30 years ago.  In all those years have I ever failed to provide for you?”


And this same God who takes care of me will supply

 all your needs from his glorious riches,

which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:19 (NLT)




DAY 16:  December 17, 2019 (17th Day of Advent)



(yah-WEH RA-fah)

“The Lord Who Heals”


“If you will listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in his sight, obeying his commands and keeping all his decrees, then I will not make you suffer any of the diseases I sent on the Egyptians; for I am the Lord who heals you.”

Exodus 15:26 (NLT)


Moses was leading the children of Israel through the wilderness when they came upon an oasis that had poison water.  The people were terrified wondering what they would drink.  God told Moses to pick up a piece of wood and throw it into the water and the water was immediately made safe to drink.  Then God told the people that He was Yahweh Rapha—the Lord Who Heals.

Jesus displayed that He was indeed Yahweh Rapha as he healed person after person…the leper, the blind, the deaf, those who couldn’t speak, the crippled, the deformed, He even raised the dead.


But even more than the physical healings He performed, Jesus brought healing to the sickness of sin and death.  The prophet Isaiah predicted that Messiah would bring healing when he said,


But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.

Isaiah 53:5 (NKJV)

The Apostle Peter gave us the interpretation of what Isaiah meant by bringing us the healing we so badly need when he wrote,


He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross

so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right.

By his wounds you are healed.

1 Peter 2:24 (NLT)


In the summer of 2010 our son, Graham, was suffering with a traumatic brain injury.  It was an incredibly difficult time for our whole family.  The neurosurgeon predicted that Graham would never awaken from the coma, but would “remain in a persistent vegetative state.”  It was at this time that I first heard the Chris Tomlin song Our God which sings,


Into the darkness you shine,

Out of the ashes we rise there’s no one like you, none like You!
Our God is greater, our God is stronger,

God you are higher than any other.
Our God is Healer, Awesome in Power, Our God! Our God!

I can’t tell you how encouraging it was for me to sing “Our God is Healer, Awesome in Power!”  I needed God’s healing power more than ever in my life.  I needed to be reminded that He was “Yahweh Rapha” …and He proved it when Graham signed his own discharge papers and walked out of the rehabilitation hospital less than two months after his injury!  We can testify that God is indeed the Lord who heals!




DAY 17:  December 18, 2019 (17th Day of Advent)



(yah-WEH nis-SEE)

“The Lord My Banner”


Moses built an altar there and named it Yahweh-nissi (which means “the Lord is my banner”).

Exodus 17:15 (NLT)


Every American knows the story of Francis Scott Key writing the Star Spangled Banner the morning after the British bombardment of Fort McHenry in 1814.  He was inspired to see the Stars and Stripes still flying over the fort the next morning.  The sight of “Old Glory” gave him hope and courage.  Our flag still does that today.  It is a symbol—the banner—of our entire nation.  In this one image, volumes of feelings and history are communicated.


In the above Scripture, Moses calls God the “Lord Is My Banner.”  This comes from the story of Joshua leading the Israelites in battle against the Amalekites.  As long as Moses held his staff (his banner) high, the Israelites were winning the battle, but if his arms dropped and the staff was lowered, the Israelites began to lose the battle.  Aaron and Hur stood on either side of Moses and held up his arms. The Israelites won the battle and Moses built an altar to remind them that the Lord is My Banner.


The Shekinah glory of God led the children of Israel through the wilderness as a banner.  The pillar of cloud by day, and pillar of fire by night, represented God as “the Lord my Banner.”  It visibly indicated His presence, His power, and His protection as they traveled through hostile lands.


If you were to ask the Israelites, “What was the single most important thing the Lord My Banner represents to you?”  I believe they would answer, “It represents Yahweh’s love for us, His people!”  It is like Solomon’s young wife proclaimed,


He brought me to the banqueting house,

And his banner over me was love.

Song of Solomon 2:4 (NKJV)


The prophet Isaiah proclaimed that the Root of Jesse (a direct reference to the Messiah) would be our banner,


“In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his resting place will be glorious…He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; he will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four quarters of the earth.”

Isaiah 11:10, 12 (NIV)


I can fight the battles of life under the banner of His love.  I can rally to His presence and experience victory in His service.  Whenever our enemy attacks me, I remember that Jesus is my banner.  I will not be defeated in His unit.  His banner will guard me and guide me.





DAY 18:  December 19, 2019 (18th Day of Advent)



(yah-WEH ra-AWH)

The Lord My Shepherd


The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

Psalm 23:1 (NKJV)


Before David was king of Israel he was a shepherd of a small flock of sheep on the hills of his hometown, Bethlehem.  He had the experience of leading, feeding, protecting, and sheltering his sheep.  He realized that sheep are very skittish animals—not particularly smart.  They have no strong defense and are in danger from many predators.  He learned how to guide them through the various dangers and challenges of their existence.  David knew how important he was to the survival of his sheep.  They wouldn’t make it long without him.


When David was considering challenging Goliath he referred to his experience as a shepherd saying that when a lion or bear would come to steal one of his lambs, he would use his rod and staff to fight it off and save his sheep.


After spending years as a shepherd he began to realize how much his Heavenly Father was like a shepherd and so out of his deep experience he penned some of the most profound words that have ever been written,


The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.  He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.

Psalm 23 (NKJV)


When Jesus was teaching His disciples He identified Himself as the Good Shepherd,


“I am the good shepherd.

The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep.”

John 10:11 (NLT)


For many years I read the 23rd Psalm as a beautiful description of my Lord.  But after He personally led me through “the valley of the shadow of death” when Donna died, I experienced the 23rd Psalm.  It became, not just beautiful thoughts, but a living reality.  These words became very personal as I experienced the Lord as my Shepherd who comforted me, led me, provided for me, and protected me.  I can’t read these words without making them personal…”The Lord is my Shepherd, I will not want…”




DAY 19:  December 20, 2019 (19th Day of Advent)



(yah-WEH tse-ba-OATH)

“The Lord of Heaven’s Armies”


Who is the King of glory?

The Lord of Heaven’s Armies—

he is the King of glory.

Psalm 24:10 (NLT)


Yahweh is the Lord / Commander of the host of heaven.  When God created the universe, earth was not the only location of life.  God created a whole host in heaven…angels, seraphim, cherubim, archangels…maybe millions of them as were told in the book of Revelation: “ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands” (Rev. 5:11).


When Joshua led the children of Israel across the Jordan River and into the Promised Land, he was preparing for the battle of Jericho when he took a walk for some time of quiet reflection.  He spotted a Man standing with a sword in His hand.  Joshua asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies?”  He heard,


“Neither one.  I am the commander of the Lord’s army.” At this, Joshua fell with his face to the ground in reverence. “I am at your command,” Joshua said. “What do you want your servant to do?”  The commander of the Lord’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.”

And Joshua did as he was told.

Joshua 5:14–15 (NLT)


Here the Commander of the Lord’s Army (or the Lord of Heaven’s Armies) is showing Himself to Joshua.  If there is any question about who this is, He tells Joshua to remove his shoes because he’s standing on holy ground.  This is the same thing that the Angel of the Lord said to Moses as he stood in front of the burning bush when He identified Himself as Yahweh (“I AM”).


When Jesus was facing arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane, Peter drew his sword and cut off Malchus’ ear who was the servant of the High Priest.  Jesus healed his ear and told the disciples,


“Put away your sword.  Those who use the sword will die by the sword.  Don’t you realize that I could ask my Father for thousands of angels to protect us, and he would send them instantly?”

Matthew 26:52–53 (NLT)


This tells me that our Lord commands the whole host of heaven.  He has unlimited resources at His disposal.  There is no power or demon or attack that the Lord of Heaven’s Armies can’t defend.  Our Lord is not some meek rabbi from Galilee, but the Commander in charge of the most powerful force of fighters in the universe!





DAY 20:  December 21, 2019  (20th Day of Advent)



(yah-WEH tsu-REE)

“The Lord My Rock”


“The Lord lives! Blessed be my Rock! Let God be exalted,

The Rock of my salvation!”

2 Samuel 22:47 (NKJV)


The “Lord is my Rock” brings many images to mind.  He is the foundation on which my faith stands.  He is the strength of my life.  He is the Rock of protection against my enemies.  He provides me with living water in the desert experiences of my life.


Do you realize that Moses was not allowed to enter the Promised Land because of what he did to the Rock?  Moses had led the children of Israel out of Egypt and into the desert.  Soon they needed water and were terrified they would die in the wilderness (Exodus 17).  God instructed Moses to strike the rock and water gushed out.


Forty years later Moses was faced with a similar problem.  This time the Lord instructed Moses to speak to the rock and water would come forth.  In his frustration with the people he struck the rock twice.  The Lord was angry with Moses and said that because he had done this, he would not be allowed to enter the Promised Land (Numbers 20).


I’ve thought that the Lord was being too harsh with Moses.  This seems like a minor infraction until I realized that Moses had ruined a spiritual symbol that the Lord wanted the people to learn.  The truth is that the Rock is Christ (Messiah) and He only needs to be struck once to produce living waters.  After this, one only needs to speak to the Rock to receive the living water.  Christ our Rock has been sacrificed (struck) once for all time.


and all of them drank the same spiritual water.

For they drank from the spiritual rock that traveled with them, and that rock was Christ.

1 Corinthians 10:4 (NLT)


The writer of the book of Hebrews states that Jesus was stricken for our sins once for all time,


But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God,

Hebrews 10:12 (NKJV)


I have experienced our Lord as my Rock on many occasions.  There have been many times when I’ve felt like the ground under my feet was crumbling from tragedies, only to find that my feet were on solid ground.  The Lord is like a High Rock that raises me above my circumstances and hides me in a fortress of safety.  He is truly my solid Rock as the words of the old hymn proclaim,


When darkness veils His lovely face,

I rest on His unchanging grace;

In every high and stormy gale,

My anchor holds within the veil.


On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;

All other ground is sinking sand,

All other ground is sinking sand.




DAY 21:  December 22, 2019  (21st Day of Advent)



(pel-eh YO-etz)

“Wonderful Counselor”


For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,

and the government will be on his shoulders.

And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6 (NIV84)


This is one of the most famous prophecies in Scripture about the coming Messiah and who He would be…what He would be like.  This statement declares a number of names of God that we will unpack in the next couple of days.  Notice that this passage speaks of a child born and a son given to us.  The entire weight of human government will rest on Him.


If you will look carefully you will see that this passage gives a clear reference to the Trinity.  God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit—three in one—Almighty God.

  • We know God the Holy Spirit as our Wonderful Counselor
  • We know God the Father as our Everlasting Father
  • We know God the Son as the Prince of Peace
  • Three persons of the Almighty God


And He will be identified as (“His name will be called”) Wonderful Counselor (in Hebrew “Pele Yoetz”).  Jesus had been the Wonderful Counselor for His followers for over three years.  As Jesus prepared His disciples for His death and departure He promised that when He left, He would send them another Counselor just like Him who would be with them, and in them.


And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.

John 14:16–17 (NIV84)


Jesus said it was good for them that He would go away, because then He would send the Holy Spirit to be in every believer…everywhere…all the time.  The Spirit of Truth would be their constantly present, Wonderful Counselor.


Do you realize that Jesus’ holy counsel is always available to us through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit?  The Holy Spirit confirms to me that I am God’s child.  He counsels me when I’m afraid or confused.  He helps me pray according to the will of the Father.  He convicts me of sin and guides me to make good choices.


He is my personal Counselor 24 / 7 / 365!





DAY 22:  December 23, 2019  (22nd Day of Advent)




“Everlasting Father”


For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,

and the government will be on his shoulders.

And he will be called Wonderful Counselor,

Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6 (NIV84)


Our Heavenly Father is the perfect Dad.  In fact we’re told that we can call Him “Abba Father.”  In our vernacular we might even call Him “Daddy,” or “Papa.”


There are many things we need to experience from our Father.  He gives us attention.  This means that He is totally aware of, and involved with, everything that happens to us.  Jesus said that our Father even knows the number of hairs on our head.


We need our Father’s approval.  We need to know that our Father accepts us for who we are, not for what we do for Him, and that He claims us as His own.  We need our Father’s affection.  We need to know how deeply our Father loves us and desires to have an intimate relationship with us.  We also need our Father’s comfort when we are hurting.  This is the kind of Father God we have.


Every child needs a loving father.  The fact that so many grow up missing a positive earthly father causes some people to withdraw at the mention of God as our Heavenly Father.  The very idea of a Father in Heaven is difficult to comprehend.  So the Father sent His Son to demonstrate what He is like as a Father.  It would be much more obvious to see His character when His Son was living among us.  Jesus was the fullness of the character of the Father in a physical body.


On the last night with His disciples before His crucifixion, Jesus said He was going to the Father and then said they knew the way to get there.  When Thomas asked Him for the way Jesus responded,


“I am the way and the truth and the life.

No one comes to the Father except through me.”

John 14:6 (NIV84)


This prompted Philip to ask Jesus to visibly show them the Father.  Jesus admonished him by saying,


“Have I been with you all this time, Philip,

and yet you still don’t know who I am?

Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father!

So why are you asking me to show him to you?”

John 14:9 (NLT)


My most intimate term of endearment for my father was “Pop.”  It brings tears to my eyes as I write this as he has been with the Lord for many years and I miss him every day.  He never got to hear me preach.  He has not been here to see my kids grow up, or to meet my grandkids.  I loved him so much.  For me to think that I can call my Heavenly Father “Pop” fills me with awe and love.  This was made possible only through the provision He made through His Son, my Lord and Savior.




DAY 23:  December 24, 2019  (23rd Day of Advent)



(SAR sha-LOME)

“Prince of Peace”


For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,

and the government will be on his shoulders.

And he will be called Wonderful Counselor,

Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6 (NIV84)


The third name in this passage that we need to examine is the name Prince of Peace.  Of course we know that this refers to Jesus.  But did you know that the Father is also the Lord of Peace?  On Day 14 we examined this name for the Father.  When Jesus came as the Prince of Peace He was simply displaying the character of God in human form.


When the angels announced the arrival of the Messiah to the rabbinical shepherds on the hills of Bethlehem, they promised that His coming meant “peace on earth.”  The Lord of Peace had taken a body on Himself and was at that moment lying in a feeding trough in town.


At his son’s dedication, Zechariah (the father of John the Baptist) prophesied that the Messiah would come…


…to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.”

Luke 1:79 (NLT)


Are you a peacemaker, a peace-breaker, or a peace-faker?  Each of us is at least one of these.  Sometimes we act in a careless way and break the peace in our homes, or at work, or among our friends, or even in the church.  Other times we may pretend everything is okay when we’re actually hurt and harboring resentment.  This makes us a peace-faker.  Jesus both challenged us, and modeled for us, how to be a peacemaker.


Our Lord came to bring peace between God and mankind, and peace between humans as well.  That’s why Jesus said,

“Blessed are the peacemakers,

for they will be called sons of God.”

Matthew 5:9 (NIV84)


Watching the evening news is a tremendous witness to the need for peace in this world.  I question what could be done to bring peace between nations and people?  What law could be passed?  What program could be instituted?  What education could be offered?  What new technology could be provided that could bring real and lasting peace on earth?


Then I remember that one day the Messiah will return in all of His splendor and regency.  He will defeat the enemies of peace as His foot steps down onto the Mount of Olives.  He will enter the Temple in Jerusalem through the Eastern (Golden) Gate and take His rightful place on David’s Throne.  He will rule with righteousness and peace for a thousand years.


Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end.

He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.

The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.

Isaiah 9:7 (NIV84)



DAY 24:  December 25, 2019 (24th Day of Advent)



(ye-SHU AH)



“Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid;

‘For Yah, the Lord, is my strength and song;

He also has become my salvation.’ ”

Isaiah 12:2 (NKJV)


Jesus.  The name Jesus in English is actually Yeshua in Hebrew and means Yahweh Saves.  When His mother (her actual name was Miriam) stepped out the door to call Him for dinner she would yell, “Yeshua!”  This is our Savior’s actual name.  He has many titles and descriptions, but only one name.


Did you know that the name Yeshua is found more than 150 times in the Old Testament?  It is not always used as a name, but the Hebrew word for salvation is “yeshua.”  Listen to Isaiah proclaim Yahweh’s salvation in this passage,


“It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob, And to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, That You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.”

Isaiah 49:6 (NKJV)


Read it like this…”that you should be my ‘yeshua’ to the ends of the earth.”  God is the Lord of Salvation.  He delights in saving us from the destruction of sin and death.  That is why His Son—the exact likeness of God—has a name that means God saves.  Now we have a fuller understanding of what the angel said to Joseph,


“Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit.  And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

Matthew 1:20–21 (NLT)


I would encourage you to read the Christmas story (the text from Luke 2 is included in the back of this booklet).  The Apostle Paul tells us that because Jesus humbled Himself to be born in a human body, suffer on the cross and raise victoriously…

God elevated him to the place of highest honor

 and gave him the name above all other names,

that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,

in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord,

to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:9–11 (NLT)


Hillsong sings, “What a beautiful name it is, the name of Jesus Christ, my King…What a wonderful name it is…What a powerful name it is.”  The bridge to this song always gives me chills when we sing, “Death could not hold You, the veil tore before You.  You silenced the boast, of sin and grave.  The heavens are roaring, the praise of Your glory, For You are raised to life again.  You have no rival.  You have no equal.  Now and forever, Our God reigns.  Yours is the Kingdom, Yours is the glory.  Yours is the Name, above all names!”




DAY 25



“The Living God”

As the deer pants for the water brooks,

So pants my soul for You, O God.

My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.

When shall I come and appear before God?

Psalm 42:1–2 (NKJV)

God is the Living God.  God is the source of life.  He formed me in my mother’s womb and brought me to life.  His air fills my lungs with each breath.  By His permission my heart makes each beat.  By His masterful design the neurons in my brain connect thoughts and ideas with words and actions.  Paul declares,

‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’

Acts 17:28a (NIV84)

The Apostle John begins his Gospel with some incredible claims.  He says that when the beginning began, God the Father, and God the Son, were already co-existing and co-eternal.  In referring to the Son (who John calls the Logos = the Word) he states,

In him was life, and that life was the light of men.

John 1:4 (NIV84)

When Jesus asked His disciples “Who do you say I am?”  Peter answered,

“You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

Matthew 16:16b (NLT)

In the Fiddler on the Roof they sing the song L’chaim meaning “to life.” This is the root word of the name “Living God.”  By this song they don’t simply mean they were alive, but that God is the source of blessings and joy in life.  God not only gives physical life, He gives abundant life.  Jesus said,

“I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”

John 10:10b (NASB95)

The Christmas song Mary Did You Know really grabs my heart.  It has some incredible lyrics that relate to this entire Christmas Devotional on the names of God.  The song asks Mary,

“Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
When you kiss your little baby, you kiss the face of God!

Did you know that your baby boy is heaven’s perfect lamb?
That sleeping child you’re holding is the great I AM!”

This Christmas when I consider baby Jesus in the manger, I can say “in Him I live and move and have my being!  In Him I find life, and this life is the light of my world, and the light shined in the darkness of my heart and I was forever changed.  Through Him I have abundant life.  I have seen His glory, the glory as of the only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth!” (see John 1:1-18).  Do you know Him?  Do you love Him?  Will you worship Him this Christmas?