Archive for December, 2014|Monthly archive page

A GIFT FROM ABOVE

The day of promise
For all generations
A Savior is born
While shepherds tend
Flocks in the fields
A multitude of angels
Announce His birth
A King, yet a Babe
Forever intertwined with humanity

Shepherds worship
This gift from God
Sent to capture hearts
Born to cast light
In the darkness
And through His life
To reign in our lives
As Lord
Our precious Savior
The Christ Child
O come let us adore Him

IMMANUEL — GOD WITH US

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God: the same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:1-4, 14).

Scripture clearly reveals Jesus Christ as our Creator and establishes His dual divine and human nature. Further, His life reveals God’s glory — His magnificence and astounding character. Christ came into this world to give us life — eternal life. He came to cast light in the darkness, giving us truth, showing us the way. With the promise of His birth fulfilled, mankind could now be assured of a Child to become their Savior who would shower them with grace.

From the time God walked and communed with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, through the Fall of Man, and with the passing of time, God’s intent has always been to dwell with humans. He is a God of relationships. Christ came to save us from our sins and to restore our relationship with God — God the Father whom we had disobeyed. We can now confidently approach the throne of God with petitions and prayers of repentence through the mediation of Jesus Christ our Savior.

This Christmas season as we contemplate the birth of the Christ Child, let us give thanks and praise for His mercy in saving our fallen race and for His everlasting love for us. Let’s reciprocate that love by using both His strength and the grace He offers freely to us to honor and obey His Ten Commandments. Our Creator and Savior is worthy of no less worship and adoration.

—Scripture quotations taken from KJV—

OVERCOMING THE DEVIL’S WILES

We’re all in this worldly mess together. Evil lurks everywhere. “Your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

We all, at times, have thoughts critical of others enter our minds. Further, jealous feelings spring up in our hearts over others possessions or achievements. This is human nature. We easily find the thoughts and feelings too difficult to resist. We dwell on them and own them, thereby sinning. The devil tells us these are little sins; they don’t matter.

The word of God supplies a solution to resisting temptation: “Submit yourselves thereby to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you” (James 4:7,8). Develop a relationship with Jesus and abide in Him daily. He will give you His strength, making it possible for you to obey God’s law, as Jesus, Himself, was able to do perfectly while on earth, being tempted in every manner as we are tempted. When we resist the devil through Christ’s power, the devil flees from us because he knows he has no chance of overwhelming us. Then we can turn those initially critical thoughts to an acceptance that none of us is perfect. Also, we’ll transform the germ of jealous feelings over someone’s possessions into happiness for them and we’ll turn jealous urges over someone’s achievements into admiration of them.

Jesus offers us a promise we can internalize: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Phil 4:13). Many of us underestimate our ability to do what we are called to do by the Lord. That’s because we don’t recognize that the Lord will empower us if we believe in His ability to make marvelous things happen through us. We have to remember that we are His instruments and He is the Provider of success.

To work with the Lord requires a strong prayer life. We need to develop trust in Him to show us the way. He does this one step at a time. This is how God works when He is going to do something great. He doesn’t lay it all out ahead and let us agree or disagree that his plan will work for us, giving us a chance to bail. We need to trust Him one step at a time, in earnest prayer.

To have a relationship with God is imperative if we want to do His will. Only God can enable us to resist temptation. Only He can orchestrate His successes. Also, He is our only Friend who, if we seek Him in earnest prayer, always understands and can comfort.

God loves you. He is longing for you to tap into His strength, wisdom, and unconditional love. He wants you to have a full life. And being so endowed, you’ll be better able to introduce your family, friends, and even enemies to the love of your Lord and Savior.

—Scripture quotations taken from KJV—

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