I don’t often share my musings or notes from my morning quiet times, but as I have been working through an Advent devotional this month, I felt compelled to share some of my thoughts.
Perhaps they are merely my random ramblings, exposing the often strange way my mind works. But my hope and prayer is that what I wrote here will somehow encourage someone. Maybe someone will have an AHA moment with God. Perhaps someone needs to talk about these things. Feel free to use the comment section below and let’s talk about Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us, and his arrival. (If anyone wants to speak privately, let me know in your comment, and we will keep it private.)
Here are some thoughts I have written over the past couple of days…
Even when I don’t see it, even when I don’t feel it, God is still here, still working, always in control.
During this season of looking forward with anticipation for the arrival of Jesus, God with us, may I always stop and remember that He IS with me. And even when I am almost overwhelmed with discouragement, God is still my way maker, miracle worker, promise keeper, light in the darkness.
Jesus was born, God is with us.
Love. God became man because of love. He lived on earth, experiencing what we experience because of love. He died for my sins, paying the death penalty, which should have been mine because of love. He rose from that death, destroying the threat and grip of the grave because of love. He lives in my body via the Holy Spirit because of love. He has welcomed me to spend eternity with Him because of love.
As I consider all of this great love, I can do nothing less than unconditionally love whomever God places in my path. I live because of His love and His love must be shared.
Christmas is about so much more than baby Jesus being born in a stable and placed in a manger to sleep. It was and is the beginning of God’s great plan to redeem and restore humans to their rightful relationship with God. It was the beginning of a journey toward extreme sorrow followed by ultimate and eternal victory. It is a significant chapter of the love story between the Creator and His creation.
Here is what I wrote today…
Jesus. He came as a baby, born in very humble, meager circumstances. Most of his life was lived in obscurity, experiencing life as an ordinary human. Then he began his ministry by serving, teaching what true servanthood is. He lived pure and without sin, and for that, he was arrested, beaten, tortured, and murdered, dying with every sin of humanity, past, and future, laid on him. He paid the ultimate sacrifice for all of those sins, died as a result of the punishment.
And then he arose!
The price for sin – paid in full! Jesus was victorious!
He lives, sin and death defeated forever. The next time he comes, he will come in his rightful glory, restoring the purity of his creation.
Until then, he lives in me. I’m nothing special, a fragile vessel, but through the Holy Spirit, the King of Kings lives in me, accomplishing his work and his plans.
This is why he was born in that manger.
Things That I Write About
But my number one goal, my mission in life, is to glorify God in everything that I do and all that I am. As 1 Corinthians 10:31 states, “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” That’s it. That is my mission. God has assigned that mission to me (and to all followers of Jesus) and I have chosen to accept that mission.
But because I want to glorify God, and to honor Him with everything I do, I invite Him to search my heart, my thoughts, every single day. The things I’m anxious about, the times when anxiety or even depression seem to overwhelm me, I want God to see those thoughts so that He can handle them for me.
I have many new friends who probably have never seen this and/or don’t know why my birthday (yesterday, August 17) is always so bittersweet for me. It’s hard to believe it has been 48 years since that fateful morning. I can remember those details so clearly. It really doesn’t seem possible it was that long ago.
Psalms 119: 66-68 I believe in your commands, now teach me good judgment and knowledge. I used to wander off until you disciplined me; but now I closely follow your word. You are good and do only good; teach me your decrees. I was raised in the church. I was dedicated to the service of…