Two words divide and unite. Our existence rests in our decision when confronted with “the cross.” Personal reactions vary from ignoring, considering, accepting or rebelling. The choice cannot be made by others on our behalf; we must discern truth, face the consequences and seek honest answers.
Who cares? “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God (1Corinthians 1:18 NKJ).” How can the instrument of death lead to transformed lives? The power of God rests behind every hammered nail. God cares; He urges others to care for those who view the message of the cross as foolishness.
It is so easy to limit God; we put him in a box and hinder his power and influence in our circumstances and problems. Our lips confess that all is possible through him, but our faith is small and our confidence in his intervention diminishes as troubles mount. We believe he can do all things, heal the sick, restore marriages, provide deliverance from debt and so much more. We believe he can…, but do we believe he will? We have not, because we ask not. (James 4:2b)
Is anything too difficult for God, beyond his power and influence? Zilch, nada! “Alas, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! There is nothing too hard or too wonderful for You – (Jeremiah 32:17 Amplified Bible).” Nothing is impossible; he can do far and above my wildest dreams and desires. (Ephesians 3:20) “Lord, forgive me for my stunted faith; I desire to grow in my trust in You day by day.”
I have noticed when something repeatedly happens in a short period, God is trying to get my attention. Sometimes several pastors and teachers use the same scripture passage, or a theme pops up in songs or devotionals. I accept it as a special delivery surprise gift.
The other day two people discovered the same problem. They were unconnected from a power source. The first routinely ironed a tablecloth, while talking with others in the room and chuckled when she realized she had failed to turn on the iron at the outlet. All of her efforts were in vain. She created laughter, but did not remove wrinkles.
Soon after, attempts to charge a dead car battery resulted in disappointment when the shade tree mechanic discovered the long extension cord was only half way in, after tracing it back to the carport. Believing he allowed ample time for a good charge, he learned he had accomplished nothing. He smiled and started the process again.
It is easy to see the spiritual lesson. If I am unconnected from the Holy Spirit, my power source, I am unable to do the job. I may be going through the motions, like pushing the iron back and forth, but there is no heat to smooth out problems.
I may even be trying to recharge my energy with an outward source, such as Bible reading, but apart from God, I would be unable to access the dynamic strength within His word. I need His power! “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8 HCS).”
Children are thrilled with the sight of falling snow. Creating snow angels is a simple way to leave their mark in the fresh fallen white snow. Snow angels come in assoted sizes, depending on who does the rapid arm flipping creations. Are they real angels or merely a winter mirage? New snow accumulation resembles mounds of glistening diamonds caught by the rays of the sun. Adjusting your eyes to sun beams falling on white snow may be a challenge. Your eyes blink repeatedly and your head begins to throb.
The snow in the Bible represents purity, holiness, and cleansing. Words were penned by King David, “a man after God’s own heart,” seeking forgiveness for adultery with Bathsheba and arranging for the murder of her husband ( Psalms 51:7). God said through Isaiah that our sins like flaming crimson will become white as snow ( Isaiah 1:18). Jesus following His resurrection was clothed in robes as white as snow (Matthew 28:3). In the Revelation of Jesus we learn of His head and hair described as white as snow (Revelation 1:14). Maybe each snow angel is much the same as God leaving a calling card as a free sample of what He has planned for us. Just imagine His finished product!
Come! The invitation is given. Come and adore Him! “O come, all ye faithful.” Will we accept the invitation this Christmas? The days are quickly slipping away. Busy schedules and filled calendars crowd out the Christ child. Will we turn our minds and hearts toward Bethlehem? Can God our host count on us to heed His personal invitation?
He rewards those who in personal faith answer His call. “O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant.” True abiding faith in Jesus results in joy and a triumphant life. We are often down, but we are not defeated.
“We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed- (2 Corinthians 4:8-9 NKJ)” Jesus offers victory; we come to Him in humble worship and adoration. “Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place (2 Corinthians 2:14 NKJ).”
Children believe busy elves operate Santa’s workshop. They can easily understand why he would need help. Making toys for children all over the world would be a big project! Even young children learn about cooperation. Adults teach them to put away their toys. If they have baby sisters and brothers, they can entertain the baby while meals are being prepared, and bring mother diapers when needed. If their parents need assistance, Santa surely would need elves.
The Lord Jesus needs us in His workshop of ministry. When we show kindness to others, He takes it personally. “And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me’ (John 25:40 NKJ).”
Perhaps elves would consider their efforts nothing in comparison to Santa’s special delivery service. We also might think we are not capable of anything significant. Jesus said, we can do great things. “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to the Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son (John 14:12-13 NKJ).”
How is it possible for us to do greater works than the miracle-worker? Jesus served in a very limited area. He knew His followers would carry His message of eternal life to all nations. I have no supernatural personal power. Holy Spirit, I surrender to You; touch lives through me. Great things are possible; I want my life to make a difference. Add me to a list of available ministry elves!
“Have a Holy Jolly Christmas!” When we remember to keep the day holy and worship the newborn King, he fills us with joy. When we leave Christ out of Christmas… all that remains is “mass” confusion! Fall before the feet of Holy God, come in the flesh. Emanuel will reveal his glory and fill our hearts with contentment.
Why do I wear gloom and doom on my face? Jesus came to give full and meaningful life; he delights in giving his gift of joy. “I have told you these things so that you can have the same joy I have. I want your joy to be the fullest joy (John 15:11 NCV).”
We can experience joy unspeakable, because we receive hope. “He is our great hope, and he will come with glory (Titus 2:13b NCV).” If Santa of “The Night before Christmas” is jolly and laughs coming down the chimney, we can be jollylooking upto our Redeemer and King!