Through the years, it’s sad to say, my Christmas celebratory group has grown smaller. However, my expansion of understanding the true meaning of Christmas has been a blessing. Don’t get me wrong, all the partying and gifts are a welcome part of this year’s celebration. It’s more that over the years I’ve grown in Christ, studying and believing more of what Jesus, our Gift from God, means to me.
What a blessing to spend this holiday with those I love…my husband, pregnant daughter, son-in-law, their 8 month old daughter, and family in-laws. As much as I’d like, it doesn’t always happen this way.
God is good. Though we may not feel His presence at all times, at all times – His presence is with us.
Feeling His presence is often relative to the location of your walk with God. Do you believe you are close to Him, strolling side by side? Or are you watching from a distance, not understanding His magnificence as He interacts with others?
I encourage you not to remain afar from our LORD but instead boldly approach Him, as others have done, by increasing your faith in who He is. God is patient as He awaits you to grow your faith. As you do this He will warmly welcome you into His presence.
Our country cannot save itself – only Jesus the Christ can save us. As we continue to lift ourselves higher, believing we control destiny, living in a my body my choice world, we are falling deeper – quicker – into an unfathomable pit of darkness.
Americans have removed God from classrooms, from churches, from business, diner tables, sports events, youth groups, science, Twitter, FaceBook and from our government. The very Judeo-Christian based America, which men like William Bradford, James Madison, George Washington, Noah Webster, and Robert C. Winthrop labored for, is being trampled on under the disguise of “freedom.”
We all want life! A life of goodness, love, joy, and peace. But some folks are suffering through life – not receiving all they expect life to be. I read a poster recently that said: “Life has taught me to never expect anything from anyone.”
That’s a sad statement. Sounds like whoever said that is desolate. They have no one to help them through life’s journey. They feel lonesome.
When circumstances seem beyond comprehension, when what you thought was the worst that could ever happen actually turned out to be the best part of your week, I encourage you–do not despair.
We are never alone in our suffering. God is here. He knows heartache, tragedy, and what it feels like to suffer loss. He knows the agony of pain, indignation, and that feeling of despair which causes one to choke.
God knows the negativity that feelings and emotions, sent by satan, try to elicit, so He sent positivity, the Holy Spirit, to tug at our hearts and fortify our minds.
God does this, America, to remind us that He is bigger than any situation.
One of the many tasks the Holy Spirit carries out is the bestowing of special spiritual gifts to all believers. Spiritual gifts are to lift up and glorify God through the body of the church, the church being Christ’s followers. Spiritual gifts are not meant to glorify oneself, rather, they are used to point to God for all the goodness He bestows upon us.
Though gifts may overlap, your unique gift should be used to share the gospel of Christ. You many ask: “How do I accomplish that task? Am I required to go door-to-door and quote scripture to unbelievers?” Not unless your gift involves communicating well with others and comfortably interacting with strangers.
Perhaps your gift goes in a different direction than communication skills. Perhaps yours is in teaching, crafting, mechanics, sports, or business? Depending on what you gift is, do you know how you would share it all to God’s glory? The answer really is quite simple.
In America, one can easily find new Bibles written in formats suited for different needs. It’s wonderful knowing that though the Bible is old its translations are continually updated to accurately communicate God’s original message. And, that those translations are inspected in order to maintain God’s word as pristine to that same original text.
There are several Bible versions in my home, especially since my daughter and her husband are seminary students working on their doctrines. The Bible I usually reference is the New International Version Life Application Study Bible. It contains more than 23,500 cross references. Those references provide for lots of information.
We Christians are founded on His holy word and we must do all we can to continually reverence it–not pollute it with the nonsense of society.
Let’s face it, creation is a mystery to all of us. No one knows exactly how God formed/established the earth and massive solar system–but He did. He tells us in His word that He did. So as a believer in Christ and all that God is, I take Him at His word. Christians like myself look past the unknown parts of this complicated story and simply place our faith in His truth.
I don’t question how I can smile and talk into a small electronic device, then somehow my image and voice travel through air and appear on your screen. It’s not something most folks can easily explain, but it happens. For God, believers trust the history of His perfection that we read in the Bible. And in this history we find passages of God’s truth shared with His people.
So believers, called to live by faith, follow God’s truth in the Bible, which begins with the wonderful story of Creation in Genesis.
The word “Christ” comes from christos, a Greek word meaning “anointed.” It is equal to the word mashiach, or Messiah, in Hebrew. Jesus the Christ means Jesus is “the anointed one of God.” To be the anointed One of God, one would have distinct qualities unto oneself. It is only Jesus who possesses the many distinct qualities identifying our Savior, beginning with His virgin birth.
Jesus’ virgin birth took place two thousand years ago, as foretold over seven hundred years prior by the the prophet Isaiah. How very distinct–having a virgin as His mother and prophets foretelling His conception!
Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.