Friday, December 29, 2023

Christmas Blessings Reviewed


Christmas is past.  The new year is around the corner.  Let's sit back and reflect on all that we have talked about this month concerning Christmas and Jesus' birth.  We talked about Jesus' mother and the surrender she made to become Jesus' Mom.  We also talked about how we also have to surrender ourselves to the Lord in trust.  That post is found here: 

In another week in December we discussed the wonderful gifts of Christmas, gifts which are more wonderful than the ones that our under the tree.  That post is found here: 

Finally in yet another post we exalted in the wonderful truth that Jesus' birth brought light into a world of darkness and sin.  It brought light into our lives as His children as well.  Also someday  because of what Jesus did for us, there will be no more tears, heartaches and trials.  There will one day be no more night.  You can find that post here:

Saturday, December 23, 2023

No More Night

Shepherds were in the field watching over their sheep.  It was night, so darkness pervaded the atmosphere.  Perhaps there were stars in the sky, but because it was nighttime it was still very dark.  Suddenly an angel appeared in the sky saying to the shepherds, "Do not be afraid.  I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior had been born to you, He is Christ the Lord." (Luke 2:10)  Then to the shepherd's astonished eyes the sky was filled with a host of angels praising and glorifying God!  The darkness had been turned to light! 

Because of  our Savior's birth,  His perfect life lived for us, and His death on the cross to pay for our sins;  our darkness has been turned to light as well!   If we have accepted the free gift of His salvation, we stand forgiven.  We are then children of the Light.  The Lord Jesus is then living in us through His Spirit.  His light is in us!  We have a spiritual inheritance and the promise of eternal life!  

Some day the Lord Jesus will return on the clouds of glory for a second time. He will not return to this earth as a baby again, but as our glorious and victorious Lord.  Until the day that He returns, however, we have not yet received our full inheritance as His children.  Although we experience joy in Him already; we still encounter trials, suffering, tears, and heartaches at times in this life.  When He returns Revelation 21 in the Bible tells us that He will erase all our fears, heartahces, and tears.  On that day there will be no more night.  All will be perfect joy in His presence!

As children of the light we need to tell others about this wonderful gift of light and life that we have received from the Lord.  We need to tell others this good news because of our appreciation to Him for what He has done for us and given to us.  We need to tell others so that they too can accept and experience this gift of light.  

Below I have posted a link to the song, "No More Night."  Just click on the link to enjoy and experience this song.

Friday, December 15, 2023



What kind of Christmas do you anticipate this year? Perhaps your Christmas will involve a lot of extra work for you in addition to the challenges and responsibilities of other life activities, or perhaps you are feeling isolated and ignored and all alone this Christmas in your daily burdens. Instead, however, perhaps you will experience Christmas this year as a reminder of your blessings and as a blessed respite from the drama of life's challenges.

Whatever we experience this Christmas and with every gift we receive at Christmas or at any time of year we have to open our hands to receive the gift; or the gift does not benefit us or give us any joy. The gifts we receive which are eternally precious, however, are the gifts which God wants to give us.

The Lord first offers us the gift of salvation which is what Christmas and walking with the Lord is all about. He further offers us the accompanying gifts of joy, peace, and hope. They are ours for the taking; and yes, they can coexist with the pain and heartache which often are present in life. Further, the Lord promises us a happy ending. That happy ending is eternal life. Christian reader, the heartaches that sometimes come in life are but a comma in your life story. They are not the end of your life’s story. They are not the end of your loved ones' life stories either.

We also can all receive other gifts. We can receive the gift of trust in God and letting Him control our lives. We receive this gift by resting in Him and by letting go of anything which we are holding onto too tightly or trying to control.

We further all have to let go of feelings of unforgiveness for people who have not been there for us. We further have to receive the gift of forgiveness for ourselves.  We have to bring to the Lord any true wrongs, and ask for His forgiveness. Further, we often carry around a lot of false guilt about things beyond our control. So whether false guilt or true guilt, we need to let it go. We need to give it to the Lord. Trust and letting go are great gifts to have in our lives.  Receive the gift of releasing it to the Lord.

One great gift we can give ourselves is the gift of acceptance of our situation. We often waste so much energy wishing circumstances were different, but we can rest assured that we are right where we are supposed to be in our lives. Dear Reader, your responsibilities may be emotionally overwhelming at times, but in the measure that you can accept where God has placed you now in your life you will find joy. It is a great gift you can give yourself.

Yet another wonderful gift we can give ourselves is the gift of being still in the presence of God. (Psalm 46:10) Doing this helps us grow in peace, wisdom, and insights. Finally, we can give ourselves the gift of gratitude. When we are grateful in spite of our circumstances our joy and blessings will multiply and resentments will flee.

Would not these be wonderful gifts to have in your life? These are wonderful gifts not just for Christmas but all year long!

Friday, December 8, 2023

A Surrendered Life


"I am the Lord's servant."  Mary answered.  "May it be to me as you have said."  These were the words of Mary after the angel told her that she would become the earthly mother of the Savior, Jesus.   These were words of surrender on her part.  It was a great honor for her to be chosen for this job.  Yet it would involve sacrifice.  Would her family and friends think she had committed an act of adultery?  Would Joseph think that?  Would she be ostracized by the people of her town and culture?  Mary's surrender would also involve great sorrow, as she saw Jesus hang on the cross. 

Mary was willingly surrendering from a heart full of love for her God.  She was not serving God just so she would be blessed, or because she was hoping the Lord would meet and fulfill her secret desires and agenda.  She was also not seeking to serve the Lord out of sense of obligation.  She was serving the Lord out of a heart filled with gratitude, praise, and love for Him.  Her heart was a heart that was truly surrendered to the Lord's will, purpose, and agenda.  Wherever the Lord placed her in her life or wanted her to do, she wanted to be there wholeheartedly serving Him.

Obstacles to full surrender to the Lord in our lives include doubt concerning His sovereignty and love for us, a desire to control circumstances ourselves instead of leaving them in God's hands, not focusing on the Lord, and a lack of thankfulness.  Other obstacles include fear, lack of true intimacy with the Lord, and no experience of the Lord's joy in one's life.

Like Mary, however we can experience the love of God and willingness to surrender to Him in our lives.  Mary Tutterrow says the following in her book, The heart of the Caregiver from Overwhelmed to Overjoyed, "We will EXPERIENCE the love of God when we are willing to do whatever He asks us to do, however, He want us to do it trusting Him completely for the outcome.  That is surrender!  It's only when we are doing things His way, for His reasons, according to His timing-not according to our own plans or will-that we can do things we never thought we could do, love people we never thought we could love, overcome obstacles that seemed insurmountable, and experience His love and power working in and through us."  

This is the surrendered life that Mary and a host of other Biblical people lived.  All failed and faltered at times, but they also experienced the joy of a surrendered life throughout their lives.  We can experience that joy as well.