THE Arrival

In this Holiday season, I pray you all are keeping your devotion time going. Often we put them aside when we’re busy but that’s when we need them the most. We’re distracted and busy…and a prime target for the enemy. And, this Holiday is about Christ anyway, right? Let’s keep our focus and the flame of our love affair with Him burning bright. Do an Advent study/Devotion this season and worship Him. Grow deeper and closer to our Savior. 

And I think you’ll find keeping Christ in Christmas will help your busy Holiday time go much better! Also important: We see a lot of people this time of year that we don’t see regularly….as well as stores packed full of strangers. What a prime opportunity to share Christ and His Gospel. Remember why you’re here 😊

Arrival. That is what the word “advent” means. Only the Advent we are celebrating here is not just any arrival. It is THE Arrival.

This is Advent: the coming of hope to the hopeless, the arrival of peace, the long-awaited exhale of freedom for generation after generation gasping for air.

Advent is the elaborate yet stunningly simple plan of God to descend to His children, to become like them in the most unexpected, unglamorous, fully human way….and He’s coming again! 

Expect Him. Watch for Him. 

This is the beginning of a great ransom story. And you’re in it. 
Merry Christmas!

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Reflect Hope

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Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 NASB

The Holy Spirit is always at work in us, making it possible for us to abound in hope.

The achievement of all God’s purposes for the spiritual welfare of His children comes from the power given by the Spirit of God. In short, if God brings you to it, He is what (WHO) brings you through it.

Our God provides hope for and inspires hope in His redeemed ones.

Your choices reflect your hope, trust, and belief in GOD being who He said He is, and that He’ll do what He says He’ll do. This is where the rubber meets the road. This is where we put our proverbial money where our mouth is.

What you fear tells you where you trust God the least.

Stop and take a look around at what He’s done for you in the past, what He’s doing for you now, and what He promises to do for you in the future. Trust Him and let your decisions reflect the hope you have in Him.

May your decisions reflect your HOPE not your fears.

Advent: It Is Finished

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Today is the first Sunday of Advent. The word “advent” means arrival. The Advent we celebrate is not just any arrival. We celebrate THE Arrival: Jesus.

This is the Advent: the coming of hope to the hopeless, the arrival of peace to war-torn exiles, and the long-awaited freedom for generation after generation.

It’s the elaborate yet stunningly simple plan of God to come to His children, to become like them in the most unexpected, unglamorous, fully human way: a Babe in a manger….born of a virgin.

It’s the beginning of a great ransom story. And you’re in it.

Our ransom story begins way back at the beginning. Way back to the fall in the Garden of Eden:

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ ” “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Genesis 3:1-15 NIV)

“No sooner was the wound given than the remedy was provided and revealed” -Matthew Henry

God’s rescue plan started right then. He couldn’t leave us there. His weapon of choice: Grace. He would use Grace to draw us back to Him in the form of His Son. A Messiah. A Savior. Emmanuel: God With Us.

Yes, the evil one would strike His heel. Jesus would experience real suffering with real blood, sweat and tears. But, Jesus would have the last word. When He cried out, “It is finished!” the serpent’s head would receive the final, fatal blow.

This is how He would become God With Us. Once His work is done….once you and I accept Him as Lord and Savior…..we will never be separated from Him again. God.With.Us.

In this Holiday season, I pray you all are keeping your devotion time going. Often we put them aside when we’re busy, but that’s when we need them the most. When we’re distracted and busy we are a prime target for the enemy. And this Holiday is about Christ anyway, right? Let’s keep our focus and the flame of our love affair with Him burning brightly. Do an Advent study/Devotion this season and worship Him. Grow deeper and closer to our Savior.

You’ll find keeping Christ in Christmas will help your busy Holiday time go much better! Also important: We see a lot of people this time of year that we don’t see regularly….as well as stores packed full of strangers. What a prime opportunity to share Christ and His Gospel. Remember why you’re here in the first place 😊

Fearless

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We often get things backwards in life. We’re funny that way. We like to pray about something, wait for God to answer and THEN walk in the victory. And, that does happen. God moves in any way He wants. He’s God. 

But, today God has you on my mind and heart. You, the one feeling boxed in by your past, your circumstances. And you, the one with the mountain in front of you to climb….that big thing to conquer. Also you, the one that has talked to God and begged for mercy over your circumstances but seeing no change. 

You’re not alone. Sometimes we hate those words. We hate them because we “feel” alone and we’re sick of people telling us we aren’t. It’s true though. You may feel alone but you aren’t. Our feelings cloud our judgment.

There are times that you have to be fearless when you feel afraid. Walk when you want to sit. Because sometimes, that’s when the miracle happens. 

In Luke 17:11-19 we see 10 men crying out to Jesus to have mercy and Jesus tells them to go and show themselves to the priests. They were unclean and were not to be near the temple or its people. Sending them there was promising them healing. As they were going they were healed. They began walking in the promise before it came and while their circumstance was the same.

In Exodus 14:10-14 we see God’s people boxed in and tempted to run back. They were told….Don’t be afraid. Stand firm and see the Lord’s salvation He will provide for you today (don’t run back into that life); for the Egyptians you see today, you will never see again (He’s great at wiping out those old ways and bondages). The Lord will fight for you; you must be quiet (and stop talking about how much easier it seemed to be back then). They needed to be fearless even though they felt afraid, and THEN God moved.  

In Joshua Chapter 3 we see that once they stepped their toe into the water, it parted. Some of you need to step forward, put toe to water first to cross over to victory

Some of you need to walk out God’s promises first, even when things seem the same, and before seeing God’s hand on it. 

All of us need to be fearless and stand firm on the rock.

 

Our strength is not always in our arms, its in our feet. Stand on the Rock, the solid ground. That’s where our strength is. 

 

On Christ the solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand

God has promised you promises and is asking you to stand firm, don’t be afraid, watch and see Him work. Believe it. Walk out those promises now, in your present condition. Just don’t forget to give glory to the One who brings the victory

It Isn’t A Christmas Season For Me

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And again, Isaiah says, “The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will rise to rule over the nations; the Gentiles will hope in him. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:12-13)


The believer’s hope comes through the Scriptures, which were written and inspired “by the power of the Holy Spirit”

God alone is our source for eternal hope, life, and salvation. True joy and peace come from God. We often try to find joy and peace through worldly things that fade away.

Our joy is directly proportional to the grace we have received–at least the perception of grace that we have received

Receive a small gift, and your joy might be minimal. Receive a large gift, and your joyous reaction is greater.

I just gave one of my daughters a cute note pad, and she had a big smile on her face and squeeled, “Thank you mommy!”. I gave my other daughter a car (very used) and she squealed, jumped up and down, cried and thanked me a million times. Receive a small gift, and your joy might be minimal. Receive a large gift, and your joyous reaction is greater. When I think on the grace, mercy, love, hope, joy, life, gifts and salvation God has given me I jump up and down too! My rejoicing is great and I start Jesus-jigging!

When Christ followers don’t have much joy in their lives, something is wrong. Spend time thinking on the things God has given you–rescued you from–brought you to–brought you through. We’ve all been through some “stuff” and God has brought us through them.

Just as when the disciples gathered up the remnants from the miracle of Jesus feeding the 5,000 into the storm, take those blessings from your past into your right now and into your future.

True Christmas joy comes from rejoicing over the great big~bigger than life~gifts of grace.

Christmas isn’t a time or season, it’s a year round state of mind….a condition of the heart.