Christmas time can be a very exciting, wonderful, joyous time as we gather together with friends, coworkers and family to celebrate the birth of Jesus, but often as we gather together with different ones, we can set up high expectations in our minds of how we would like things to go and when they are not realized, it can lead to feelings of sadness and disappointment. Yikes!! To be on guard of this is important to our well being and our ability to shine as lights for our Father. We can share our heart desires with others, but we cannot control how others respond to them. Sometimes they are overwhelmed with life, don’t understand or just don’t get it or perhaps are unable. Jesus understands our hearts and He does get it! I am inspired by Jesus’ words to His Father as those He loved hung Him on a cross. He said “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” Sometimes to move forward or bounce back from disappointing circumstances, we may need to grieve our let down expectations before our Father rather than suppress them. With His help, we can accept the situation as it is and move forward resting in His love for us and trusting in Him to help us deal rightly in the situation. To have a heart like Jesus is admirable as we go through the Christmas season of interaction with others. When He left His home in Heaven to be born as our Savior on earth, Jesus deserved the best the world could provide for Him, but He came into the world considering Himself as nothing. Although His equality with God could have been grasped in that He was in very nature God, He was content to be laid in a manger, wrapped in cloths instead of being the best dressed and having a fine room in the inn. Bless Him! When we imitate our Father’s humble heart, it doesn’t go unnoticed by Heaven. Our Father isn’t big on pride, but gives grace to His children in their humble state. He loves each one of us with unfailing love, just as we are and He rewards us in eternity for doing what is right in this life which is often sacrificing or giving up what we desire of this world. I admire how Jesus came into this world with the expectation of serving rather than being served, giving instead of receiving. This is a healthy expectation to have and this cowgirl is thinking that is a good attitude to keep in mind not only at Christmas, but into the New Year. Yepper! With these thoughts in mind, I’m thinking I can find peace and joy to persevere in situations where life gives a ”manger” instead of a room at the inn experience. Resting in His love and wisdom with you all! I wish you a Merry Christmas season!
Php 2:1-11; Mt 20:26-28; Lk 2:7, 23:34; Ja 4:6; He 4:15-16; Ac 20:35; Rev 22:12
Greetings this day to you. This is the time of year that we celebrate the birth of our Savior and what a joyous event for us to remember and reflect upon! Christ aka Immanuel or “God with us” is such a miraculous provision of our Father’s love and grace to us. I marvel today, that in carrying out His great work of bringing Christ into the world, He chose two everyday people to partner with Him in accomplishing it. How exciting it is that our Father delights in working with each of us to accomplish great things in this world! In the passage of our Father’s Word that I am studying this morning, I see Mary who is pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with the Christ child through the Holy Spirit. Wow! What a surprise! I am sure this was not at all what either of them expected in life. Joseph, was quite confused by it. We see this, in that while he didn’t want to public disgrace her, he had in mind to divorce her quiety. Mary had to have been confused by the situation as well – excited about marriage, honored to have been chosen to carry the Christ child, but concerned for what Joseph was going through with this unexpected set of circumstances. In application of this story today, it strikes me that areas of someone’s life can be this same way sometimes – not quite what we have expected or dreamed it would be. I greatly admire that after considering the situation Mary and Joseph found themselves in, they saw the Lord had a plan in how to deal with it. Even in the unexpected set of circumstances, they saw that the Lord was wanting to work good through it for them. Upon understanding this, they carried out the Lord’s will in their blessed union. It speaks to me that each one of them individually looked to the Lord to be in their relationship with each other and in their circumstance what the Lord desired. In doing so, a great plan was carried out for them both. I ask myself and I ask of you, what circumstances have we found ourselves in that is surprising to us that we need to trust our Father in? I am inspired that in partnering with Him, He can work great things in the midst of whatever it is. So as I step out into today, I’m trusting my Father – He is Immanuel, “God with us” - a great reason to celebrate and keep going in doing His will where life has left us surprised!
Mt 1:18-25; Jer 29:11; Ro 8:28-29; 1 Pe 1:3-9; Ja 2:1-4, 12; 1 Co 3:9-15
Monday, May 14, 2012
Well, I’ve made it through the weekend to Monday and so thankful to be in Daddy’s company. I know I’m not the only one who loves His presence. As Jesus performed many miracles, a crowd was always following after Him. Because of His great compassion for the people and concern for their need to eat, He miraculously fed them with seven loaves of bread and a few small fish the disciples provided. He gave thanks, broke them and gave them to the disciples to distribute, hence feeding 4,000 with food to spare. Then sending them away, He got into the boat with His disciples and went to the region of Dalmanutha. The Pharisees came and began to question Jesus. To test Him, they asked Him for a sign from Heaven. He sighed deeply and said “Why does this generation ask for a miraculous sign? I tell you the truth, no sign will be given to it.” Then He left them, got back into the boat and crossed to the other side. It strikes me that Jesus sighed deeply when asked by the Pharisees for a sign from Heaven. This story speaks to me that Jesus understands high expectations and disbelief. He wanted the Pharisees to believe in Him for who He was – the great “I Am.” He desired them to love Him just as He was without having to gain their approval or acceptance based on more performance or meeting their expectations. To be accepted just as I am is what we all desire, too. It is to have unfailing, unconditional love – the kind of love that Jesus gives to us. He demonstrated this kind of love for us in that while we were still sinners, He died for us. He tells us that He does not find His pleasure in the strength of the horse, nor does He find His delight in the legs of a man (man’s own ways) but He delights in those who fear Him (respect, trust, believe and reverence Him) and put their hope in His unfailing love for them. He desires we believe in Him and the message He brings, to love Him for who He is and as He is. He desires we find comfort knowing we have His love, too! I know He loves me as I am because His Word tells me these things: God so loved me, He sent His only Son to die on a cross to save me from sin and death just through my faith in Him and not of myself. I am saved as a gift from God, not by works so nobody can boast. My efforts are as filthy rags, yet I can approach His throne with confidence because He is my high priest who sympathizes with my weakness. When I confess my sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive my sins. Oh, I’m so happy God’s love for us is not based on us pulling off the impossible of living perfect! Just as we are – that’s how Jesus loves us! Whoohoo! It just makes me want to love Him right back and love others this way as well. I’m sending much love to ya’s. Have a great day just as you are! Mk 8:1-13; Eph 2:8-9; Gal 3; Pr 19:22; Ps 147:10-11; Heb 4:15-16; 1 Jn 1:9; 4:7-21; Is 64:6; Jn 8:58-59; Mt 22:34-40