Archive | December 2017

What Would Happen if Christmas Meant . . .

 



What would happen in a world like this
If we stopped cursing and started to bless

Those who have hurt us, those we fear?
Who would do this? Who would dare?

What would happen if we took a stand
Against injustice in our land

By looking first at our own hearts?
Who could then throw judgment darts?

What would happen if we de-cluttered our homes,
Sang more songs and wrote more poems,

Listened far more and said far less?
What would we gain? What would we miss?

What would happen if we were less prepared
For our own emergency and we shared

Half of our stash with those who had none?
How would we feel when we were done?

What would happen if we took down fences,
Stopped looking through distorted lenses,

Saw every child as God’s creation?
What would happen in our world and nation?

What would happen if Christmas meant
A lifestyle change instead of an event?


Christmas Gift Suggestion

During Christmas season, at least for a day, many people set aside anger, temporarily let go of grudges, and forgive those who’ve hurt them.  Making this a lifestyle change is more challenging. 

It requires cooperation with God.  My hashtag “choosing grace” refers to the effective combination of interaction with God’s grace and personal responsibility which brings about lasting change. 

Chapter seven in Emotional Freedom (“A Dynamic Dance with the Gardener”) explains what it means to “Choose Grace.” 

When we are choosing, day-by-day, to live in a close relationship with Jesus—relying on his favor, depending on him to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves, and trusting him to meet our needs—God’s grace empowers us so that we can overcome our destructive and addictive desires and emotions. (p.51 Emotional Freedom)

This book would be a great gift for those who want to start the New Year by learning how to habitually

(1) choose self-control instead of destructive anger,

(2) move from resentment into joy and 

(3) extend mercy instead of clinging to unforgiveness. 

Buy here.

 

 

 

This entry was posted on December 4, 2017. 6 Comments

Our Ultimate Hope

 



Around Thanksgiving Day, I asked my grandchildren to send me a Christmas wish list. They have great expectations and hope to receive everything on their list. I’ve been working to fulfill some of their desires. Hopefully, they will not be disappointed.

Guess what! By next Christmas, they will probably be tired of or have outgrown this year’s gifts and want something else. The best gift that I can offer my grandchildren is the gift of myself.

The gift of himself is what Jesus brought to the world at Christmas.


Around 2000 years ago, near the time of Jesus’ birth, the world was about as messed up as it is today, yet the people of Israel had great expectations. They were waiting for a promised Messiah—a King who would make life easier on this earth, according to this O.T. promise:

“The heir to David’s throne will come,
and he will rule over the Gentiles.
They will place their hope on him” (Romans 15:12 NLT).

Their hope was that Jesus would overthrow the corrupt government and set them free them from poverty, unjust taxes, and bondage to the Roman Empire.

Guess what! He could have given them these things but that would not have brought them ultimate joy. 

Instead of a King who would change the world around them, Jesus came as a Savior to change the “world” within them. This is reflected in the angel’s word to Joseph concerning the Virgin Mary:

“And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”(Matthew 1:21 NLT).

Today, Jesus still offers to change our inner world—to set us free from our own destructive urges which make us slaves to the devil and the world.

When we put our hope in him, we will not be disappointed. As Jesus’ follower, Paul said,“And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” (Romans 5:5 NET)

Jesus’ disciple John tells us that when we invite him to rule our lives, he transforms us so that we become like him. He said, “Dear friends, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that whenever it is revealed we will be like him, because we will see him just as he is. And everyone who has this hope focused on him purifies himself, just as Jesus is pure” (1 John 3:2, 3 NET).

This motivates us to action. And even though we are imperfect in our behavior, we know that when Jesus returns or we go to be with him, he will finish the work that he’s started in us. 

Jesus came once as Savior to change our inner world, and he is coming again as a King to transform our outer world.

When we participate in communion, we are reminded of this: He said,“ For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until he comes again.” (1 Cor. 11:26 NLT)


OUR ULTIMATE HOPE

No more sorrow, no more pain
No more failure, no more shame

No more sickness, no more death
No more robbery or threat

No miscarriage or stillbirth
No pollution on the earth

No more tears, no depression
No slavery or oppression

No abuse, no betrayal
No government, unstable

No injustice, not one liar
No treacherous advisor

No more struggles with the flesh
No more thoughts, devilish

This our hope and strong assurance
Christ will return and keep his promise

11/28/17 Jane Ault
This entry was posted on December 1, 2017. 6 Comments