I petition that we stay in the side of the Lord and not work against Him. That will not end well.
Be Careful What You Pray For!
You may need to read my last blog post to get the whole story, but even if you don’t, I have a true life lesson that proves that the sky is the limit when you take your wants, needs, and desires to God in prayer.
I have been working a part-time job for over 18 months. I started this gig in December of 2020 with the expectation that I would only need to do it for 6 months. My goals, at that time, were (1) to get out of the house and around people during the worst of the COVID pandemic, (2) do something physical and get out of the house, and (3) survive our dark, cold, long, Wisconsin winter.
As news to me, God had a better idea. His goals were (1) I would actually enjoy working a second job (2) this would be an active mission field to reach unchurched people in my community, and (3) to address my (almost) $24,000 in credit card debt.
A few months ago I routinely sat down with my prayer journal and I expressed to God that I was tired. With both jobs combined, I was working up to 60 hours a week and I told him that I really needed a break. My current balance on my credit card (at that time) was just under $4,000. I had come so far that I could see that being credit card debt-free was within reach. But, I also asked God to expedite my debt pay off because I didn’t want to do this anymore. As I recorded these requests, I consciously remember thinking, “How are you going to do this God? I’m asking to work less or not at all, but at the same time get paid more? These prayers contradict!”
I proceeded to close my journal and I just left it right there as I do everyday and with every prayer. Part of me couldn’t help but wonder if I expected God to actually answer my prayers that day, or was it just me whining? After all, it is such a fleshly human characteristic to “want our cake and eat it too”, right?
Several weeks passed and I forgot that prayer or whining session; whichever you want to call it. Despite being tired, sheer determination and an unwavering commitment to achieve my $0 balance credit card goal kept me going. I endured more long work days, making sacrifices to my social calendar and family time, missing out on community events and completely neglecting housework. Dust bunnies can wait until my debt is paid off, I thought to myself.
But then one day God answered my prayer and not how I would have ever imagined.
I got hurt – really hurt!
I was at work and it seemed as if it were just another night, but on this particular night, I was in the wrong place at the wrong time and was squished by an almost 4,000 pound box. I’ll spare you the details, but after a 5 hour wait in the Emergency Room, I was treated for a sprained wrist, elbow, ankle and a large laceration on the back of my right heel. Oh-it-could-have-been-so-much-worse!
Following the accident, I was unable to work for 2 complete weeks (because I was physically unable to stand or walk for any length of time, prohibiting me from being able to perform the light duty work that they tried to give me). Two weeks to rest, ice and elevate. Did you catch that? (2 weeks!)
The other miracle was, when I did return to work, the partial disability checks paid from workman’s comp more than doubled my normal take home pay. (Doubled!)
It was about 3 weeks after the accident that it all hit me. Not only did God gave me my much needed break BUT He expedited my debt pay off – Simultaneously! Exactly as I had prayed for it.
As of today, I my balance is $227 and I am days away from being credit card debt free and close friend asked me what I plan to do to celebrate this monumental accomplishment? After giving it some thought I decided I am going to commemorate God’s goodness in not just this, but in every aspect of my life, by getting a tattoo on my ankle (after it is healed) that reads, “My debt is paid.”
Our God loves us so much. He cares deeply for us. He is able to do so much more than we can ask or imagine. Be careful what you pray for, it might hurt.
Look What God Can Do
It was November 2020. Each day the hours of darkness grow while the hours of daylight recede. The house was dark when I sat down in my home office and again when I would shut my computer down for the day. I would make my way to the kitchen around the 5:00 hour to grab an unhealthy, processed, instant food to heat up in the microwave or pizza oven and I would finish the day on my recliner where I would polish off a bottle of wine while staring at another [television] screen to occupy my boredom and exhaust the remaining hours until bedtime. Awakening to a pot of bold caffeinated coffee to do it all over again. Day after day I kept thinking, “This isn’t living”.
The pandemic was doing what any extrovert dreads – isolation, lack of social connectedness, limited variety in activity and repetition. Feeling depression growing ever deeper within me, all I wanted to do was sleep. Sure, I could exercise, but only to, yet, another screen. I could bundle up and get some crisp, fresh, cold November air, but why would I do that? It’s cold, it’s dark.
So what do you do when you feel life draining from you? Out of desire to reverse the dark hole I was finding myself digging day after day, I took a personal assessment and questioned myself, “What do I need right now and where can I find it?”
I need people!
I need physical activity!
I need to stop trying to satisfy the void in my life with wine, unhealthy foods, watching depressing news and binge shopping on Amazon.
My conclusion? Get a second job! So I did. A part-time job in the evenings at Fedex Express!
My husband doubted I could do it because the criteria was having the ability to work in extreme temperatures and lift up to 50 pounds. His doubt was enough for this old farm girl to give it a try and here I am, a little over one year later, in cold, frigid Wisconsin February, with $15,000 less debt, an entirely new circle of friends. Conversely, I feel GREAT, blessed, motivated and proud. I even took off a few pounds. #WINNING!
God is so amazing. He used my discomfort, debt, depression and discouragement and gave me a whole new perspective on life. I can’t tell you how much I now see the world in a whole new way through this experience. First and foremost, I will no longer underestimate how God can use our grim circumstances to plant us right in the middle of somewhere that gives you so much more than you could ever ask or imagine. Secondly, how much we need to appreciate people who do what they do so we can get our products conveniently delivered to our door. Be sure to thank a delivery person!
Another way God amazed me is that He gave me a mission field. I don’t have anything to lose by talking about Jesus at Fedex so as we’re stacking boxes, unloading trucks, loading the big plane or tackling a project together, we get to know one another. I get to hear about their love for video games, pets, kids, cars and music. I learn about some of their dating, family and health challenges and a subject near and dear to my heart, their hurts, habits and hang ups; otherwise known as addictions. I get to pray for them, and I do, daily. My Fedex team has become a very important part of my life and I am seriously dreading the day when God redirects me to somewhere new. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about leaving, but we’re still waiting for Covid to be declared an endemic so I’m actually very happy to spend my evenings with my new found friends.
The moral to my story is this: I know people are out there whose mental health has taken it’s toll be it from isolation, stress, fear, darkness, boredom, debt. I know that what you are dealing with is very serious and it is real and it is hard. Do a self assessment like I did. What do you need right now and where can you find it? Then pray and ask God to guide you into something, some place, some where, that will lift you up, transform your life and bring fresh perspective to how He can use you, grow you and above all restore you. Maybe it is a second job, maybe it’s a new hobby, activity or volunteer opportunity, but a ministry. Our God works in mysterious ways and there is no question that He knows what we need more than we do.
So let me end with this…
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:6-8
At The End Of Ourselves
The book of Acts is incredible. It’s like a movie that keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole time. Today I read Acts 27:13-26 and couldn’t help but recognize some parallels between the storm they were facing and the storms that I face in my own life.
My Wiersbe Bible Commentary says, “Sometimes we get ourselves into storms for the same reasons: impatience, accepting expert advice that is contrary to God’s will, following the majority, and trusting ‘ideal’ conditions. ‘He that believes shall not make haste’ (Isaiah 28:16). It pays to listen to God’s Word.”
CONVICTING! I have done this – I do this still! Practicing everything but not listening and willingly obey God’s Word.
I have gotten better at this because I do find myself praying to God, “This is just too big for me or too much for me to handle, I know I have to trust YOU with this, Lord.” Admittedly, I should just say, “You got this God” and then confidently trust Him, but no, I don’t naturally do that. God and me, we arm wrestle sometimes. I give it to Him and take it back, and then give it to Him again, only to take it back. Finally I fatigue and throw my arms up and proclaim, “You win!”
It is so me to have to get to the end of myself first and THEN give it to God. I’m just being real here.
The verse within this section that glared me straight in the face is verse 20b that says, “We finally gave up all hope of being saved.” God does bring us to the end of ourselves, doesn’t He? After we have “tried” to do everything we humanly can to “fix” our circumstances, rationalize our efforts and work our way through the messes (as if our lives depended on it), instead of trusting on the Lord with all our hearts and leaning NOT on our own understanding, but in ALL our ways, to acknowledge Him first, so He can make our paths straight. [Head slap moment]
Surrendering our will, trusting in God, waiting on His timing and not doubting Him is a daily, hourly, minute by minute need [for me] so I thanked God for reminding of this today and I am confessing to all of you that just prayed and repented of all the ways that I try to control everything. Everything!
I asked God to forgive me for trying to “play God” when things aren’t as I wish they were or I “think” they should be. I invited Him to come back and be seated on the throne of my marriage, my relationship with daughters, my jobs, all the people I deeply yearn for to have a relationship with Him (but don’t seem to be “getting it”) and any other selfish things that I am unconsciously, or subconsciously, doing in my own strength. They’re not going to magically disappear I know, but it’s sure going to take the pressure off of me. I have now reprioritized it and released it; accepted and appreciating the reality that only He can do and He will!
It’s so liberating to lay my burdens at His feet and know it’s in better hands. This is where and when I find peace within myself and about all the things that make my world spin like crazy.
If you want to join me and show me that I’m not alone… let me know what it is that you need to release and let go to Him today?
When The Human Heart Searches For Help
Some days I feel ordinary, other days I feel extraordinary, most days I feel inadequate and unworthy, but today I find peace, acceptance, contentment and gratitude.
Isn’t the human mind a powerful thing?
The bible says in Jeremiah 17:9 that the human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked, who really knows how bad it is?
What does the mind and heart have in common? Desire!
Therefore, I interpret this verse to mean that when we are guided by our feelings we are unstable, insecure, irrational and not able to live up to our full potential. Without the confidence of being in harmony with our creator God, nothing makes sense. It leaves our heart yearning for something that appears to be missing and our minds seek out solutions in an attempt to fill the void and when the “fix” can’t be found or felt, it gets discouraged, resorts to defeat and resolves to helplessness.
How do people who don’t have a relationship with God or who can’t find happiness in this world manage their emotions? Suicide? Depression? Addiction? Self Destruction? Violence? Sexual pleasure? Change their gender? Counseling? Abuse of others? Attempt to dominate or control other people? Withdraw from social circles? Become argumentative or defensive in conversations? Withhold love?
I am so, so thankful that when my world starts spinning that I remember to run toward the one and only true source of power, strength, stability, truth and acceptance.
What do you do? Or do you need God?
Seasons of the Year, a Day, our Lives
It was a 21 degree day here in Wisconsin, but the dogs needed a walk and after a half a bag of chocolate covered peanuts, so did I. I got bundled up, tucked my air pods in my ears and headed out into my country neighborhood while listening to “Understanding The Times”, Jan Markell’s weekly podcast.
The battery on my phone was low when I left, but the cold temperatures helped it drain completely leaving me alone with the sound of my feet slapping the pavement and the huffing breaths of my dogs.
Being alone with no one to talk to, I started talking to God and it went something like this:
“Hi God. Thank you for this beautiful day. Yes, it’s cold, but the sun is out and that’s awesome. Thanks for that. Hey God, look at your creation? As if you need to look, you know it already – intimately. It’s amazing. You are so detailed! The sky is breath-taking (as usual) and the trees, Lord, seriously, you made these trees! Your handiwork is crazy perfect. So much so, I can’t even grasp it all. But God… everything looks dead. But it’s not is it? The cool thing is, that in a couple of months it will literally spring to life. It will be gorgeous. I love it when you do that, I love it when you bring the death of winter to life in spring. And then, when summer comes it almost feels like your creation is shouting your name, but then fall comes and everything subsides and returns to winter, again. Looks dead, but not dead?!”
“Lord, I guess in many ways this is like my day. I wake up in the morning and my eyes are hardly able to focus. Once I shower, put on make up and prepare myself for the day, I emerge a new person. I go about my day fully alive, vibrant, a representative of being created in your image and fully alive. Yet, upon return home I reduce my pace to slow down and I slip into something more comfortable, wash away all that made me look my best and end my day back in bed. Similar to the trees, I am dead (to the world), but I’m not really, I’m just sleeping. Dormant. At rest.”
“Yet, upon further thought, this is like my life. I was born and incapable of doing anything by myself and for myself, but I grew. Even up into my 20’s, then 30’s, and maybe early 40’s, when I was in full bloom. I looked accomplished, my life appeared to be perfect, all I had worked for had paid off and I felt accomplished. By the world’s standards, I was successful. Yet the birthdays kept coming and now I am much older and in a comfortable place. I have a lot of regrets, but the future has hope. I’ve learned from my mistakes and now my life has so much more purpose. I’m fulfilled, somewhat content, peaceful and grateful. I’m not as interested in being “all put together” anymore. I am much more interested and invested in growing my character, building my legacy and making a tangible difference with my life, in whatever time you have planned for me while I remain on this earth; which could be a day, a year or dozens of more years, but I’m not chasing after any one thing anymore, Lord. I’m living! But I am reminded every single day with the body aches, wrinkles and young adult children, that the end is coming.”
“Here’s the thing. To this world, it will appear that I will die and my life will pass away, but I won’t be dead. My soul won’t die! Just like these trees. I may look like my season or my life has expired and my physical body will be cold, unfruitful and void of any evidence of life, but it’s not true – I will be alive! But instead of lying in bed softly breathing, I will be with you, Father, and we will be together in heaven!”
Girlfriends reading this… Do you see that we are all in a season. In my current season, I am feeling a greater sense of urgency to tell more people what I know, what I have learned and how they can be assured of eternal life like I am. I read my bible everyday and I can’t get enough, it truly is life-giving and inspired by God. I splurged today and bought myself the Charles Spurgeon study bible. In it, I read his biography and he was known as “Prince of Preachers” and I am inspired. Inspired to live and lead a life that makes an impact.
I may not have an audience of millions in my lifetime, like he did, and I most certainly haven’t done anything deserving of a legacy that is preserved for over 200 years as his has, but what if there is one? Is there one of you out there who is reading this and wants to know God and have confidence that they aren’t going to die and knowing where they will spend eternity… heaven or hell?
I don’t care what season of life you are in. I wish I would have asked myself more questions and sought more answers in my teens, 20’s and 30’s. But apparently God wanted to give me a heart and a passion FOR you when I am nearly 50. Are you 70, 80 or 90? What’s your story? Are you ready to meet your creator… or not?
If it is you and you are the one that I am writing this for, will you please email me at email@example.com.
You only have eternity to gain. I’m not scary, I promise. I’m just a girl who loves the Lord and believes there are more people out there that want to know him too.
Addicted To God
I would like to conduct an experiment. What could God do in 30 days if we acted like we were addicted to Him? If you think about addiction, it is all consuming and it, in many cases, dominates our thoughts, actions, choices, plans and resources.
Let me speak from the vantage point of a shopaholic. She has everything a woman could ever ask for; Shoes in every style and color that compliment multiple hats, purses, handbags, jewelry, headbands, jackets and sweaters. Cabinets, drawers and cupboards filled with make up, haircare, nail care, skin care, foot care, lotions, waxers, shavers, anti-aging exfoliants. Drawers overflowing with Victoria’s little secrets along with hangers and hooks dripping with bathrobes, scarves, belts, tights, shawls and wraps. Clothes for every season and activity; from pajamas to workout clothes, casual to business casual and professional skirts, skorts and pants, to after-five little black dresses to formal glitz and glam evening attire. The dimensions of her walk in closet are comparable to a small bedroom, bathroom or den.
She has a credit card for every department store and balances that are inching closer to their credit limit, while that limit seems hard to catch as it keeps increasing due to her “preferred customer” status.
The addict says, “I don’t have enough” and heads out on a hunt for more. She spends hours searching for the perfect, look, deal, color, fit, size, style or item. As she piles the success of her mission onto the checkout counter and her mind races from, “I hope these match with shoes I picked up last year and hadn’t worn yet” to, “I hope this charge goes through.” Relief breaks the fear when the clerk asks, “Would you like to apply for our credit card and “save” 10%? Of course she would!
She gets home and obsesses over what to wear, which accessories match and if she really likes them enough to keep them or if it’s worth the trouble to go back and exchange them? Even though guilt starts to set in, she feels good; it’s like a shot in the arm that reinvigorates her and makes her feel better about herself. She decides that she is worth it, she works hard for it and she deserves it – then off come the tags, the final decision, with rationalized justification, is made.
30-days later the credit card statement reminds her of her due date. What once was a collection of “must-haves” becomes another bill and she can’t understand when and how it got so high. She may have worn them once since she bought them, but they didn’t work out like she thought they would. They now seem to feel too tight or they made her feel fat when they pulled and squeezed in places that made her self-conscious. Discouragement sets in as her debt piles up and her paychecks keep getting smaller. As if that’s not bad enough, she notices other things that she loves but they are showing their wear with fade from washing or they just flat-out lost their trendiness. So off to the store she goes…again!
Imagine if we could take this one example of addiction and transfer that level of consumerism to reading our bibles, studying the word of God and into prayer? What if we could live like the Apostle Paul in Philippians 4:11-13, “Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”
With that kind of strength, we wouldn’t be broke, ungrateful, unsatisfied or discontent and we could “learn” to be content with whatever we have. So unAmerican! Through knowing God, finding our completeness and fulfillment in Him and, quite frankly, acquire an obsession to have more of Him, what could life look like to be addicted to God? What if you were given the living water and never be hungry or thirst again, like Jesus talks about in John 4:15 or 6:35?
Want to give it a try? Commit to 30 days of bible reading. Go to www.facebook.com/godgirlfriends and post your questions, lean into your support system – a community of encouragement. Then report back how you see God work in your life in these next 30 days to inspire others, but most of all to celebrate all you witnessed God doing in your life.
Regardless of your stronghold, addiction, idol or whatever has you in bondage – take the time that you have been previously consumed by and redirect your energy, time and resources into knowing, seeking, reading and focusing on God. The book of Matthew has 28 chapters, Mark 16, Luke 24 and John 21. Pick one! Then read a verse, section, chapter or book for a little OR A LOT of time each day. Challenge yourself to dedicate whatever time you would have otherwise spent on other unfulfilling or unsatisfying things.
Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. John 6:35
I’m praying for you!
What Does The Cross Mean To You?
A young lady came into my life recently and we were matched up because she wanted to know God better. To be honest, she had a very convincing testimony and if salvation had a checklist I would argue that she could check every box. I was pleased to see that she already knew a lot of scripture so I assumed my role, as her mentor, would be to show her how she could build daily disciplines into her life, hold her accountable to putting what she read into practice and to encourage her in her walk with the Lord. We both agreed that this would be our goal.
I made her a promise that I would not give her any personal advice, but would point her to scripture that would be useful to teaching rebuking, correcting and training in her righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16). With that, I encouraged her to ask questions and to be curious about what she was reading and take time to meditate on how she could apply what she was reading into her life.
Shortly after, her questions started rolling in, I responded with verses that would not only teach her, but affirm her as she would wrestle with the truth. She began to realize that her life wasn’t exactly aligned with what God would want for her and began to open up about her struggles with addition, low self-esteem, anxiety, borderline depression and a complete lack of inner peace.
I kept sharing God’s truth and continued to remind her of who she is in Christ; that she is God’s creation, His handiwork, an heir to the throne and a daughter of the King who is deeply loved. She began rebuking me out of her own disbelief that if that is true about God, why doesn’t she feel that way?
Whoa! There it is… she’s seeking a feeling and desiring after some supernatural, magical, confident state of mind. Jeremiah 17:9 says that the heart is deceitful above all else, who can understand it and when I shared this with her, she had to admit that this is true of herself. She is being tossed around endlessly by her feelings and is guilty focusing on how she feels rather than on what she knows to be true in scripture.
Girlfriends, God made us to be feelers, thinkers and have emotions, which (I can speak from first hand experience), can be one of the biggest barriers to having an intimate, authentic and personal relationship with God.
We can’t wish ourselves into heaven anymore than we can earn it.
We need to throw our whole entire heart (life) into knowing God and trust every single one of the promises that are given to us in His word. We have to believe, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that what Jesus did on the cross was enough to cover our sins today, tomorrow and for eternity. Until we do, we will live on an emotional rollercoaster and be tossed around and tormented by our feelings – exactly what is happening to her.
It has been weeks of watching her come to the end of herself in this battle of wills – her will vs. God’s will. Last night she finally made this statement, “I know suffering has a purpose but it hurts when in it… I’d like to view it from God’s perspective.”
Oh, the honesty, defeat and vulnerability in those words.
Poor sweet girl (and all of you reading), we DO have God’s perspective and it is found at and in the cross! The cross that performed the greatest, most selfless act in history. The cross, where God’s grace was freely given to us in the form the most sacrificial gift of all time. Not one of us deserve it! It is the most horrific form of suffering, where Jesus was placed on an altar, the altar called the cross, and where his sinless, flawless life was sacrificed and he willingly took all of humanity’s collective sin onto himself paying the ultimate price… death! Satan thought he won, but on the contrary he was never more defeated. Jesus conquered death and he lives!
It is because of this that we surrender our lives to him – our whole selves. He gave everything up for us and held nothing back and when we realize the magnitude of what he did, we willingly, enthusiastically and wholeheartedly give him our lives. When that happens, the Holy Spirit enters us and begins to change us from the inside out. The process takes a lifetime (here on earth), but the assurance of heaven is guaranteed. The changes we begin to see within ourselves are evidence of his transforming work and we not only love ourselves (which covers low self-esteem, doubt and anxiety), but we love others unconditionally.
Today I am going to ask this young lady if she wants to accept the greatest gift of life that God gave to her, because now I can see that she may know scripture intellectually, but not personally. I pray I get to witness the birth of a new believer who comes to know her Father in heaven on Mother’s Day 2020.
Is today that day for you too? Are you done being tossed around by your feelings and emotions and are you ready to accept the greatest gift of all – eternal life through faith in what Jesus did on the cross for you?
I hope so. My greatest pain comes from watching this young lady, and many like her, struggle. Especially because I know that on the other side of this decision is peace that surpasses all understanding, joy that is not contingent to circumstances and love that abounds beyond my ability to describe it.
“Lord, thank you for sending your son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for MY sins; not just the sins of the world, but for ME! Father please forgive me of all my sins – I admit that I can’t save myself; I need a savior. I surrender my life to you, Lord, and I ask that you fill me with your Holy Spirit. That you will guide me everyday for the rest of my life and I thank you for giving me assurance of eternal life through Jesus Christ. In Jesus Name I pray – Amen!”
If you prayed this prayer, Congratulations! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will share some ideas on how you can take your new found faith and grow it, mature it.
For you and all who have already surrendered your life, we will see you in heaven, sisters in Christ!
Find Joy Out There
Do you feel like you are hanging out there and there is no safe place to set your feet? The headlines are inundated with grim headlines and dire outlooks. I have to admit that I have run the gam-it of emotions over the past several weeks, but the past 3 days that has changed. What changed? According to the world, it’s going to get worse before it gets better… much worse.
The bible tells us otherwise and since the entire bible points to the hope that we have for eternal life in Christ, I am not going to attempt to make that case here, but what I can tell you is that I have been reading in 1 Corinthians and 13:13 says, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
I have decided that I need to show love. Posting positive messages in social media, buying the order for the car behind me at the drive-thru, randomly texting, emailing or actually picking up the phone and calling people as I think about them. Not surprisingly, it’s easy to catch people these days and they actually have time to talk. The absolute best thing that I started doing is mailing out 3-5 handwritten cards per day to the girlfriends in my life whom I truly miss in this season of social distancing; women I want to encourage and let them know that I am thinking about them and I care about them with my whole heart.
Here is what happened. My heart filled with joy! God is right! Showing love to others and being “others focused” completely transforms your attitude, emotions and whole disposition. Instead of waking up each morning in a place of discouragement, I awaken with thoughts about whose lives I can make a difference for today. I pray in praise, not in fear, and I thank God for all the blessings I am seeing and how alive I am feeling in the arms of his protection and under the promises of His hope.
So girlfriends, if you are discouraged today, I want to encourage you to find ways to be a blessing to others. Spread faith, hope and love. Let the greatest emotion that you have today be love.
Share your creative love sending ideas here so we can extend our love to one another and have a toolbox of more ways we can love even bigger and better together!
What Does It Cost?
Christmas Day. A time to pause and put things into perspective. I’m in awe of what God has done for me and today really brings that to the forefront. As been my tradition to read a chapter per day (each December) in the Book of Luke. There are 24 chapters and 24 days in December before Christmas. Today I read John 1, thinking I may as well keep going, and John 1:14 really hit me in a profound way as it really spells out Christmas! “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
At what cos did he come and make his dwelling among us? Well, it cost Jesus the comfort of heaven to come down to earth and be amongst people. That is crazy! I imagine the richest of rich going to a 3rd world country and trying to live, I can’t even grasp the culture shock of heaven in contrast to earth. I think even I would have tried to negotiate better terms if I were Jesus, to at least land a middle class point of entry, but no, God gives him poverty. Seriously, a manger in a stable and a blue collar working class family? I grew up poor, but I at least have a hospital on my birth certificate and a crib to come home too.
Then there was God’s sacrifice. God knew full-well what he was doing when He decided to place his one and only Son on the earth; which was to die! I mean, what parent does that? My sole purpose for bringing children into this world was NOT to watch them struggle, endure pain and die! Either God, nor Jesus changed their course. God sent his Son to die and Jesus came to earth to die – never wavering.
John 3:16 says it so eloquently. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Within this verse we find the “Why”; that whoever believes in him will not perish.
So what will this cost us? Everything! We have to not only believe that God did, in fact, give up his Son for us, but Jesus took on our sins on his shoulders and cancelled the debt of our sin so we can be right with God and enter heaven with assurance of eternal life.
Today is not just another day, it is a day of sacrifice, love and grace. We are so blessed and it doesn’t take presents, decorated trees, great sales, perky songs or anything that we can see with our eyes or touch with our hands. It takes faith and that then means sacrificing our selfish desires for a life lived out in obedience to Him.
No greater gift!
To receive this gift and transform your life pray these 3 simple things:
- Lord, I am a sinner and I need and desire Jesus to be my savior
- Please forgive me Lord, I am sorry for what I have done.
- I pledge to make you the leader of my life – help me to live for you.
In Jesus Name I pray, Amen!