I wonder why we speak of peace and joy and harmony yet live so inconsistently? We can so easily speak the good news of the gospel yet live a lie of Gossip, backbiting, arrogance, and selfishness! Strife seeks to walk among us and we succumb to it’s danger and the just plain, wrongness of it by taking sides and fighting with crushed and arrogant spirits. Yeah, it seems we have the talk but not the walk and then we wonder why others don’t get it or understand Gods’ grace and accept His unconditional love. Hypocrisy is the most confusing message we can send to others within our circles of influence and it’s so very real, and so very rampant in our churches and in our own hearts. When do get the fact that God’s work done in God’s way will be victorious and God’s work and ministry is the Good News in action as well as word? It’s not accomplished through down-talk and jealousy, backstabbing and ridicule. Through rivalry and bitterness! When do we wake up to see that withholding forgiveness, smiles, kindnesses and love only prove to worsen issues as they subtly and slyly become our strongholds used by the enemy to divide and destroy? Our Saviour came to break through the darkness of sin with His glorious light on that night so long ago. His divine and royal credentials became a humble birth in a stable. A heavenly, all-powerful God gave up His heavenly status to become a helpless babe born into a humble lineage, a poor family! God gave up His royal robes to be swaddled in clothes and laid in a feeding trough. From riches to rags He entered the world of rejection in order to bring hope to us here on the wretched earth, bound in our sin and strongholds. To us who speak the good news yet live lies of selfish arrogance. Yeah, He came to bring Peace on Earth and to reign glorious and victorious over our strife and fighting, and bitterness. Let’s get it as we enter into the glorious celebration of His birth. Let’s let go of anger, wrath, malice, hurt, pain and rejection long enough to see His divine light in our darkest of moments. Yeah, if we say we know the Truth of His love, grace and forgiveness, then what better time to demonstrate it through love, grace and forgiveness, than at this glorious time of joyous celebration of His birth?
We can be as King Herod seeking to destroy with lies and jealousy or we can be as Wise Men seeking Christ to honour Him in the way we live!
“Then Herod called for a private meeting with the wise men and he learned from them the time that the star first appeared. Then he told them, “Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. And when you find Him come back and tell me so that I can go and worship Him too!” ….the wise men went their way and the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star they were filled with joy! …They opened their gifts and gave Him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
Matthew 2: 7,8,9, 10, 11b
*˛°.˛*.˛°˛.*★* Merry *★* 。*˛.<3 ❤ ❤
˛°_██_*.。*./ ♥ \ .˛* .˛。.˛.*.★* Christmas *★ 。*
˛. ❤ (´• ̮•)*.。*/♫.♫\*˛.* ❤ ˛_Π_____.♥ * * * ♥ ˛* ˛*
.°( . • . ) ˛°./• '♫ ' •\.˛*./______/~＼*. ˛*.。˛* ˛. *。
*(…'•'.. )<3 *˛╬╬╬╬╬˛°.｜田田 ｜門｜╬╬╬╬╬*˚ .˛ *.*
So, what’s all the noise and fuss about lighting this candle of hope at Advent season? What’s hope anyway in this bad, sad world of ours? What’s up with hope anyways in the wars, the riots, the killings, the shootings, the earthquakes, and all the ‘not so great things’ that happen daily in our own lives and in our own worlds? Hope? Is it some pie in the sky crutch to help Christ ones over the rough patches or some kind of brainwashing that has believers totally running off the reality track? What is it? Where is it and how on the wide side of the earth do we find hope within a world such as this? A world in such utter disarray and chaos? Is this thing Hope, really for real or just some word tossed about to get us by and give us some kind of false idea that all will be better by and by?
Yeah, it is for real! It resides in the hearts and minds of Christ’s disciples ~ in the hearts and minds of His followers. Hope resides there because His followers have tasted of the healing and forgiveness and faithfulness of the Lord and witnessed His hand of goodness even through the storms, the losses, the trials and the fires. Prophecies foretold of this wondrous hope splashed all through the pages of scripture, of this One who would step down from heaven and enter as the only solution, into a world crushed by sin and torn apart by it’s ruthless destruction. He would enter as a babe, so tender, so helpless, so human yet so divine! He would enter humbly and be laid in a manger as the Light of world! As the Saviour of the world! Yes, let’s light a candle to symbolize this Hope for the world! Prophecy foretold the Good news of His coming to take away the ugly sin-stain of mankind and heal their land, their hearts and their souls. Isaiah’s words to Hezekiah in Isaiah 40: 1-5 were words of comfort for the people of Israel at a very difficult time. It was a message of encouragement with the good news of forgiveness, reconciliation, and restoration. A message still so real and relevant for us today as we sit in a broken world with broken lives ravaged by sin! And ah, yes, beautiful soul, He did come! He came as a babe to live, and walk among us and die and yet rise to defeat death so that our own hearts can be healed and forgiven and made new because the Light of the World came into the world! He came to seek and to save that which is lost. That’s you and I and because of this great event in history, we don’t have to continue to live in the darkness and the ruins of sin that so easily entangle us and make the world the bad, sad world that it is.
Oh yes, the hope is real and for ‘very’ real for sure!! There is Hope laced throughout the brokenness and the darkness of this dismal world, in the form of a Saviour, the Light of the world.
Isaiah 40: 1 – 5
Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins. A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the LORD ; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.
So there’s heaps of stuff and scary things happening with massive floodings, tornadoes and earthquakes throughout states and countries and now ~ now beheadings in Sweden and on and on it goes and yeah, where it stops nobody knows. Hope? What ‘s that in days like these? Days of shootings, bombings, lawlessness, wars, turmoil, strife, financial crisis and natural disasters on every front and at every turn. It appears that our world is being set up for knock down and its all just so messy and unnerving isn’t it?
Happy New Year!!
Ok, tell me how ‘happy” can make a comeback after all that’s been lost, even in the past year with so many victims, so many deaths, so many losses, and so few wins?
Paul knew losses all too well. He knew desperate suffering even for the sake of innocence! Imprisoned wrongly, yet his chains advanced the Gospel. He reminds us of it in Philippians 1: 12, “Now I want you to know brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the Gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly.”
Oh yeah, he knew all about suffering but he saw the bigger picture and the golden lining that it came wrapped in! He looked deeper to find the good. Perhaps we can too! Perhaps if we look deeper than the scary surface of random happenings and deeper than the inevitable, looming fears and demands and threats that hang over the days of our lives, we can find the gold lining too. So go ahead and look! There’s no room for fear when we look for the good, the noble, the right, the true, the lovely, the pure and the admirable. Think on these things but don’t just think on them ~ practice them and the God of peace will be you. Philippians 4:8.
As believers, God’s got us and we’re on the victory side despite all the nasty stuff that sin brings into the picture. Sin? It’s rampant in this messy world and ruins and destroys all in its path. It’s surely taken us down it’s beaten path and taken its toll on our world and us and continues to destroy even the innocent. So unfair it is, but yet through all of this hardship, find, as Paul did, the joy and the courage to face the next moment and the next day and the next year and say with him, as he pens the words in
Philippians: 18, 20,21: “But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice……I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always, Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
If your days get scary, there’s still hope in that, because God’s got it and He is Hope for this old world and He’s got you and He has your gold lining all laid out wrinkle free in His perfect plan! It’s so peaceful there! Trust Him when the days are long and the nights are dark!
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So after Christmas past, is there more? Maybe for you it’s one down, one to go or maybe two more celebrations with family or friends. How was it? Was it all you expected it to be? Was it everything you hoped for? O.k so the bones are weary after all the preparation and the muscles ache now, on the let-down after the day. Perhaps it was a tough day for you, where expected, warm moments maybe weren’t so warm after all. Perhaps they turned into strained moments with uncomfortable meetings and greetings? Oh yeah, the hurt was brought back to the surface and what you thought had healed really wasn’t healed at all. Now, on the day after Christmas past, the struggles still hang on and the walls still surround and the battles are still there, yeah, even after Christmas! A wonderful time has come and gone, and your hope for reconciliation or acceptance or even just forgiveness just didn’t go as planned and it’s over once again and the emptiness of it all still sits heavy within your beautiful soul.
You need a sweet, hug from God today! A hug snuggly wrapped in His favour and blessing! A gentle hug so sweet and so tender that all the bad stuff pales in comparison to this grace hug from the One true Light of the World that shattered darkness, with His birth on that night so long ago! It was for you right here and now. Right where you are ~ He’s there still ~ to shatter your broken world and bring Hope and healing, into your moments of pain. So, when the struggles still struggle and the hurt still hurts,and the walls are still high and pain still goes so deep, even after Christmas, get with God and get to know His Son, Jesus. Let Him lavish you with a divine love so unconditional it will make you blush as you realize what He loves you out of with no strings attached. So today, when it all seems wrong and hard and when places are just difficult, let this true Jesus be your friend and light your way! That’s why “Christ”-mas came! To bring light and peace and joy into the world and to bring light and peace and joy into yours!
Psalm 34: 18
“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
I am come as a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.
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