“1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…14The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:1 & 14
It is so easy to get sucked into the festivities, the buying of gifts, wrapping of presents, travels, jingle bells, etc, and miss out completely on the very essence of Christmas.
Christmas is about a demonstrated love – God taking the first step to bring us back to himself through his Son Jesus. Now, gifts and turkey carvings are delightful, but what’s more delightful is that God desires a relationship with us- not because he needs relationship by the way, but because we were made for relationship. In him, with him, we find our true selves and purpose.
“God raised Moses in a palace in order to use him in a desert. He raised Joseph in a desert in order to use him in a palace.” – Ravi Zacharias
Whether you are currently in a palace or in a desert, never lose sight of the fact that God’s plans for you are good and would bring you to an expected end.
Rather than being unhappy or even fearful about where we are, and looking around for other options, perhaps we should be praying: “Father, You have placed me here at this time. How do You want to use me? How can I be available to You so that You can work out Your purposes in my life in this place?”
Every blessing, with prayers
So much in our modern world – and sadly in the Church too – contributes to what one theologian has called ‘the trivialisation of God’. We may not have stopped believing in God altogether, but we often cut Him down to our size, reduce Him to our dimensions. However, we domesticate God at great risk. It is dangerous to try to make this transcendent God user-friendly.Excerpt From: Greenslade, Philip. “Every Day with Jesus” July/Aug 2013Just A Thought
How strange this mix of fear and faith,
When foundations are shaken,
And anchors disappear like water on sand.
Ah, what torment, what anguish,
“Help lord.Please help”, the midnight cry repeats
Suddenly, I remember your word-
Your arms are not too short to rescue,
Nor your ears deaf to hear.
Faith will triumph over fear, again,
For my God always comes through-
Yes, He always does.
His every promise is “yes”.
Dominic Ahiaga-Dagbui, July 2013
When I’m faced with anguished choice,
I will listen for Your voice,
And I’ll stand on every promise of Your word.
Through this dark and troubled land
You will guide me with your hand
As I stand on every promise of Your word.
You have promised to complete
Every work begun in me,
So I’ll stand on every promise of Your word.
Hope that lifts me from despair,
Love that casts out every fear,
As I stand on every promise of Your word.
Not forsaken, not alone,
For the Comforter has come,
And I stand on every promise of Your word.
Grace sufficient, grace for me,
Grace for all who will believe,
We will stand on every promise of Your word.
Keith Getty & Stuart Townend
Copyright © 2005 Thankyou Music
Complete Song (Chords & Lyrics)
Related links: Stuart Townend singing Every Promise, http://youtu.be/3l8RVhxndYg
We set ourselves up for bitter disappointments in life if we place more prominence on the gifts of God, rather than the Giver of the gifts. How easy it is to slip down this path…
God, the Giver of all good & perfect gifts (James 1:17), bids us to seek Him and His righteousness first in all things, then the gifts and blessings we need would be added on (Matt. 6:33) . In Acts 8, Simon the sorcerer was focussed on meaning something to the people; he craved importance – he pursued the gift and not the Giver of the gift- he was sharply rebuked.
All of life’s blessings must be processed with a perspective that places God over and above them all, lest we set ourselves up for bitter disappointments in this life, or afterwards. Pursue the Giver, not the gifts.
Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of the Lord (Romans 10:17).
Is your faith not growing? The text above can almost be paraphrased simply as ‘more of God’s word, more of faith’, with the help of the Holy Spirit of course. What do you spend your time hearing, reading or listening to? Programs that cause doubt or bring guilt? Voices the criticize and only remind of your weaknesses and failures? Or the Word of God that brings life, sets free, builds faith and confidence in the Lord ?
Make a practice of hearing & reading only what builds you up in the Lord.
Every blessing, in Christ Jesus.