16 Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. — Colossians 3:16 NLT
The only way to have the peace of God rule in our hearts is to get the Word in us and let it dwell richly. What does “dwell richly” even mean? Rich means an abundance way beyond more than enough. To get that much Word in us, requires that we spend a lot of time meditating on the Word. Once we have meditated on the Word, it fills our thoughts. That leads us to praising God and having an attitude of gratitude. That is right thinking and that leads to right words and right deeds (actions). We will be able, by the leadership of God’s Holy Spirit, to do everything in His name and for His glory. If we practice doing things in this manner, praise and thanksgiving will become as natural as breathing then Christmas could last all year long.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
8 The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
— Psalm 103:8 NLT
Each morning when we get up, we should take time to thank God for His mercies and faithfulness. The fact that God does not deal with us as we deserve because of our sins is reason enough to spend each day rejoicing and giving Him praise. We deserve death and an eternity in hell, but God has chosen to forgive us, redeem us and bless us. Spend today giving God the glory, blessing, and honor that He so richly deserves and when the evening comes, you will discover that you have had a joyful day. Focus on Jesus and your day will be a blessing to you and to those around you. Every day, from now until Christmas, practice showing mercy to those you meet and pray that it becomes a year round habit. We can have that “Christmas feeling” year round, if we meditate on the love of Jesus, store it in our hearts and release a little bit of it everyday.
2 Samuel 22;26-28 NKJV
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
19 For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God. 20 But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. 21 To this you were called,because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. — 1 Peter 2:19-21 NIV
As we look back and honestly assess the hard times in our lives, we can attribute most of them to bad decisions that we have made. Those decisions may have involved unkind words that we spoke causing ill feelings and anger between us and others. The decisions may have been based on our fleshly desires and caused us to commit acts that we should not have committed. The decisions could have been bad financial decisions we made because we did not want to wait until we were able to afford certain things. We get no credit or praise for enduring those times that were brought on by our own wrong doing. I cannot recall one time in my life when I had to suffer because of a good deed that I had done. I read the horror stories of our brothers and sisters being abused and persecuted for the good deeds they have done and are doing and I pray for them. Those events seem so far away and foreign to me. And I wonder what my reaction to that kind of treatment would be. Would I stay faithful to God and endure the pain? We are called to and warned to be ready for such acts. We have the examples of those in the Bible and in our daily news of those who do endure. They are the ones who make up the “cloud of witnesses” that surround us. I shed tears of grief as I listen to their stories and I feel so small and unworthy knowing that the tears they are shedding as they tell their stories are tears of joy, the joy of sharing in suffering with our Savior.
It should break our hearts to think about what pain Mary felt as she gazed upon the cross and saw her Son in such agony. What anguish she must have felt as she remembered that this was the little baby that she had held in her lap on the first Christmas day! It must have been hard for her to believe that it took that kind of suffering to redeem a fallen world. As we celebrate the season this year and every year. let us remember that there is no gift that can match the one He gave on the cross. He gave His all for us, so let us commit to living lifestyles that reflect His love for us. Let us rejoice because the cross is empty! Let us sing with gladness of heart, “Joy to the World, the Lord has come” and He has risen in our hearts!
8 His neighbors and others who knew him as a blind beggar asked each other, “Is this the same man — that beggar?” 9 Some said he was, and others said, “No, but he surely looks like him!” And the beggar kept saying, “I am the same man!” 10 They asked, “Who healed you? What happened?” 11 He told them, “The man they call Jesus made mud and smoothed it over my eyes and told me, ‘Go to the pool of Siloam and wash off the mud.’ I went and washed, and now I can see!” 12 “Where is he now?” they asked.”I don’t know,” he replied. 13 Then they took the man to the Pharisees. 14 Now as it happened, Jesus had healed the man on a Sabbath. 15 The Pharisees asked the man all about it. So he told them, “He smoothed the mud over my eyes, and when it was washed away, I could see!” —John 9:8-15 (NLT)
God is waiting to show you the Way.
The crowd was so astounded at this miracle they argued about whether this was the same man or not. These weren’t strangers, these were neighbors and others that had seen this man begging everyday. In their hearts they knew he was the same man, but their flesh rebelled at the thought of admitting it. If they accepted this as a miracle, then they would also have to accept Jesus as who He said He was. We can apply this spiritually if we replace the mud over the blind man’s physical eyes with the sins that blind our spiritual eyes. When we accept the truth of who Jesus is, His blood washes away all our sins and we can see more clearly. It reminds one of the old Hank Williams song’
“Just like a blind man I wandered along
Worries and fears I claimed for my own
Then like the blind man that God gave back his sight
Praise the Lord I saw the light.”
1 “Arise, shine; for your light has come,
And the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.–Isaiah 60:1 (NASB)
So, this Christmas morning as you arise, before you starting gifting and eating, take a moment and let the glory of the Lord shine and remember the real reason for celebrating this season.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! “For the Lord God Omnipotent Reigneth!”:
Merry Christmas and have a blessed New Year!!
8 The Lord is merciful and gracious,
God is waiting to show you the way.
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
9 He will not always accuse,
nor will he keep his anger forever.
10 He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far he removes our transgressions from us Psalm 103:8-12 (NRSV)
Each morning when we get up, we should take time to thank God for His mercies and faithfulness. The fact that God does not deal with us as we deserve because of our sins is reason enough to spend each day rejoicing and giving Him praise. We deserve death and an eternity in hell, but God has chosen to forgive us, redeem us and bless us. Spend today giving God the glory, blessing, power, and honor that He so richly deserves and when the evening comes, you will discover that you have had a joyful day. Focus on Jesus and your day will be a blessing to you and to those around you. Every day, from now until Christmas, practice showing mercy to those you meet and pray that it becomes a year round habit. We can have that “Christmas feeling” year round, if we meditate on the love of Jesus, store it in our hearts and release a little bit of it everyday.