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Sunday, December 15, 2019

God's Plan - No. 2 is Very Important!

Luke 1:5-13, 57-80

What's it like to be No. 2?  In a way, that was John's role. He was the advance man for Jesus.   This is how Luke described it as Zechariah foretold in the temple 8 days after his son was born:

And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High;
    for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him,
77 to give his people the knowledge of salvation
    through the forgiveness of their sins,
78 because of the tender mercy of our God,
    by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven
79 to shine on those living in darkness
    and in the shadow of death, 
to guide our feet into the path of peace.,

Can you imagine getting this assignment?  OK, you get to be the one to prepare the way for the Lord.   i would be speechless  And this is how Zechariah, John's father, describes his newborn son after months of being unable to speak.  

God has plans for each of us.   You may think, on first glance, that being No 2 isn't as glamorous as being No. 1.  Who wants to be Vice President?  But God knows what each of us needs and the best way to serve Him.  When we listen, truly listen, and obey, what wonders will result.  

What joy would it be to have said of me that I would give people the knowledge of salvation!  Rest in God's tender mercies, and help others guide their feet into the path of peace.  You may not be the leader, but your obedience will pay dividends of blessings.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

What We Behold is What We Become

Behold!  We hear this word often in the Christmas Story.  “Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy,” the angels said.

Behold invites us to take an intense look.  We are invited to take a long, intense look at the lavish love that the Father, God, has bestowed on us.  This gift of love, so undeserved!  This love that went so far as to allow His one and only Son to be born in human flesh and walk this dark sinful world!  He is calling us to SEE His love face to face, a love that came to save us and make us part of His family, calling us His own sons and daughters. 

John 1:12 says, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God, to those who believe in His name!” 

Yet there is more!! He tells that as His children, we might not always “fit in” to this world.  We may have difficult roads to walk.  We might experience hurt, rejection and betray, just like Jesus did.

But He gives us this hope!  What we behold is what we will become!  Our present standing as His children promises that what we are YET to become has not yet been revealed. 

Just like a caterpillar could never fully understand or comprehend what being a butterfly would look like or feel like, we cannot on this side of eternity fully comprehend what we will become.  When I spend time each day in meditation, prayer and writing in my journal, I want to always keep this picture in mind.  

We will become our truest selves, the one perfected by the sacrifice of Jesus. We will be unhindered in our God given glory, our perfectly design and unspoiled splendor, reflecting the very character of our God and Savior.

Setting our sights on this hope changes everything!  It changes how we live and breathe.  When we set our hopes on our eternal destiny and what we will become, we could never again be content with such small, temporal things like a relationship, or success, our mutual funds, our health, our possessions, or simply on ourselves. 

Today, let us begin to LIVE into our REAL HOPE, the hope of Jesus!

Thank You Father, that You have lavished us with Your love!  Your love has pour down upon us.  You sent Jesus, first as an infant, to rescue us!  You now give us the precious gift of receiving Jesus, and being called Your children.  Lead us to behold Your amazing love in such a way that we set our HOPE on what You have yet destined us to become!  We will become as radiant as Your Son, Jesus!!

Friday, December 13, 2019

Hope Guaranteed

Hebrews 6:17-20

As we approach Christmas, God wants us to know that he delivers on his promises.  His word is unbreakable and unchanging.  He’s not going to say one thing and do another.  

Today’s passage talks about being encouraged and taking hold of the hope set before us.  The hope of Jesus is an anchor for the soul.  It grounds us and keeps us secure.  How comforting is it to know that when God says he’ll save his people, he saves his people.

So, during these turbulent times when nothing feels safe, we can rely on Him.  We can be secure in the knowledge, that while it may feel like our world is crumbling, there is hope.  The hope of a savior born in a manger.  Come Lord, come.  We anxiously await you.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

A Legacy of Goodness

As I get older, I sometimes consider what my legacy might be. What will I be remembered for? Who will I be remembered by? 

But, more important, what might I pass down to my folks that has value. Not monetary value - there won't be much of that, but perhaps a legacy of goodwill. Maybe if I ever start (and then finish) the book I've always dreamed of writing, that will be my gift. They can say, "She fulfilled her dream."

But this verse really is what we should be remembered for: doing good, being rich in good deeds, and generous with a willingness to share. I have been spending a little bit of time on the website. I'm trying to learn about my family a few generations back. It is easy to get lost for hours.

This family tree research is fun, but it doesn't really tell anything about my people, only vital statistics. There is no family history, no interesting stories, heroic deeds or even the hint of an outlaw in the background to spice it up a bit. 

So, how do we pass on our goodness so future family members will know we followed Jesus? Much of my history will be found in my journals. But how else can they know that my faith mattered? Love is a legacy that cannot be denied. Just like we remember Aunt Daisy for her cantankerous ways, we can be remembered for how we treated others who needed us. We might not discover these tidbits on Ancestry, but we will hear about it at family gatherings. Those we loved well will not forget. And just maybe they will pay it forward.

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