The Hope of the Season

winter-2957821__480When someone is good to you, you want to share it with others.  When they are kind, patient, understanding and self-sacrificing on your behalf, you want to give back somehow.  When someone has extended mercy and forgiveness to you and has pursued you even though you felt you were not worth pursuing, you want to express thanks.  And my way of thanking God is to tell others about Him.  To share with others that He is good, patient, forgiving, humble, and a seeker after them.  When Jesus left this earth to go back to His Father, He told his disciples to tell others about Him.  To let others know that they could come to Him if they wanted to have a life with He and the Father.  Both here and now, and forever.  When I think about Christmas, I think of all of the fun things that our culture does to celebrate the season – the lights, the Christmas trees, the gift giving, but there’s this quiet voice in my heart that keeps reminding me that Jesus was the greatest gift ever given, and that Christmas is about Him being all we need when entering a relationship with God.  We don’t need to make special sacrifices (Jesus did that), we don’t need to put on special garments (Jesus is that), and we don’t need to be perfect (Jesus was that).  All we need to do is invite Jesus into our hearts and lives.  I was lost before He became a part of my life.  I was searching, but I didn’t realize I was searching.  And even though I wasn’t looking in His direction, He gently knocked on the door of my heart and drew me to Him.  There is nothing I can do to repay God for what He has done, but I can tell others that God is hope, and He can fill your heart with it.  That’s not to say that life will be perfect, Jesus told us that life would not be without struggles, but He will never abandon us in those struggles.  It is a Merry Christmas, and it’s all because of Jesus.

“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.  And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.  And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” – Luke 2:8-14

If I Were Lost

For some reason, I was aware of the love and reality of God, early on…

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“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:38-39
“‘Am I a God who is only close at hand?’ says the Lord.  ‘No, I am far away at the same time.  Can anyone hide from me in a secret place?  Am I not everywhere in all the heavens and earth?’ says the Lord.” – Jeremiah 23:23-24
“The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.” – Psalm 121:8

Love Made Me Love

baby-1884898__480I have found that I need to be careful not to fall into the trap of trying to appear as if I have my life “together” in the hopes of being a better example for God.  Since I am human and not without fault, I will never truly have a handle on everything.  If I did, I might not seek out God’s help.  The most important thing I can do in an effort to bring God glory is to let others see His love in me.  That is what drew me to Him.  I saw His love expressed through a friend who chose to accept me as I was at a time when she could have passed judgement instead.  The love she showed me not only glorified Him, but it made me more curious to know the God she loved.

Love takes your hand
and walks beside you
in silence
Love invites you
to climb onto its back
and be carried
Love owes you nothing
but wants to give you everything
Love says, “let’s do this again tomorrow,”
when you feel like giving up.

– kb

Simple But Vital

“There Abram called on the name of the Lord.” – Genesis 13:4

adult-1850672__480Abram (also known as Abraham) is known as one of THE men of faith in the Bible. He is known as the man whom God credited with righteousness because he believed what God told him. He took God at His word. So it’s helpful for me to look at Abram’s life for other examples of ways to honor God.  Recently, I found another.  When reading about Abram, it struck me that at different times along the journey from his homeland to Canaan (the land God was calling him to), he made a point to stop and as the Bible puts it, he “called on the name of the Lord.” (Genesis 12:8, 13:4)  It seems like a simple thing, and perhaps a statement I might have brushed over when reading the same passages in times past, but they spoke loudly to me this time. That’s all He asks of us, isn’t it?  That we call on the name of the Lord throughout our journey.