Preparing Our Hearts for Christmas
Over the next few weeks, as we approach the celebration of Christ’s birth, I invite you to join me in “Preparing Our Hearts for Christmas,” based on my devotional book by that name.
Blessings, sweet friends, as we prepare our hearts for Christ’s Mass.
Candy Cane Poem
I rushed away from the young man.
I’d been watching him with the prior customer. Chipper. Smile on his Covid masked face. I could tell because it was well below his nose. Once again I wondered why people bothered to wear a mask if it rests below their nose. Company policy, I supposed. My turn. As I approached, I thought I heard him sniffle. I did hear him sniffle. There it was again. Certainly he was sick and before I could change my mind about the boxed gingerbread cookie tree I was buying for our grandkids, he reached for it. Too late. His Covid sick germs on my box. “These look great! I hadn’t seen them,” he happily chatted. “They look good!” Why didn’t I say, “You keep them. Merry Christmas.” Instead, I paid and returned his, “Have a nice day,” with “You have a nice day.”
Why Didn’t I?
The next morning, on my knees, in such a holy position, I sincerely prayed that God’s radiance would show through me to others. Pow. Zap. The Holy Spirit gently but powerfully brought to mind the prior afternoon. Less than 24 hours earlier I had the opportunity for which I was praying. However instead of being the light to that young man, I was consumed with myself and hoping I didn’t catch Covid or the flu from him. He was the cheerful one. He was the one smiling and sending me off with well wishes. “I’m sorry, Lord. So, so sorry.”
Take Hold of God’s Overs
“Why didn’t you hand him a candy cane and attached poem with my offer of salvation,” Jesus gently prodded me. I should have done that. I have that somewhere. “If not, write one,” He continued. So here is the poem the Lord gave me in case you find yourself to be as I was. A shopper who hopes you don’t catch a bug from the person handling your purchases. Maybe we can be the one with the smile. Perhaps what we give to them will bless them. We can pray that they read the words and if they do not know the real reason for the Christmas season they will open their heart and receive Jesus as Savior.
Free: Download and print the poem. Attach to a small candy cane. Instead of rushing through the Christmas season, rush to give the hope and light of Jesus to others by handing out candy canes with the poem.
Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us overs. Use this poem to bring people to salvation.
Dark World, Radiant God
Radiant! You look radiant. Do people say that when they see you? Does the glow on your face cause them to comment? If you said no, neither has anyone said that about me. Guess who that is said about, though? Jesus. Hebrews 1:3 describes Him in this way:
“He is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His nature,…” Hebrews 1:3
The word “radiance” is only used 5 times in the Bible and in each instance refers to God. Commentator Vines defines God’s “radiance” as “shining forth, of a light coming from a luminous body.” Isn’t that exciting? One day we will see Jesus and His radiance. So remember that when things around you are dark, Jesus isn’t. Nothing can extinguish His radiance. One glorious day we’ll join those who are living in God’s radiance. We’ll fall on our knees overwhelmed by what we see. That day is coming when we go to Jesus or when He returns through the clouds. Keep watching and living for Him!
Heavenly Father and Lord Jesus, our hearts are overwhelmed when we think of how we will one day stand in Your radiance. We praise You and look forward to that day!
We Can’t Wait!
“He’s coming with a sleigh and reindeer.” That’s what some parents tell their children about Santa and kids get excited in anticipation of his arrival. But hey, believers! The real gift-giver from above is coming in the clouds and not with a sleigh and reindeer. Rather, Christ will come with the armies of heaven following Him. (Revelation 19:14) Rather than wearing a human made santa suit, Revelation 19:16 describes Christ’s robe and what is written on it:
on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, ‘KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.’
Christ’s coming isn’t a fairy tale. It’s a fact. It’s incredible and beyond exciting. As Old Testament believers once looked forward to the day the Messiah would come, believers look forward to the day Jesus will return to earth in glory. How magnificent that will be!
Christ Jesus, LORD OF LORDS, we bow in worship and praise You, King of Kings.
Kidz Time 1 – Q
Praise to God, Our SUPPLIER
Do you ever feel empty or drained? What about anxious or uptight? Does mad or angry better describe you? Or sad and melancholy? Whatever our condition, whatever our need, we have a SUPPLIER. Short on perseverance? Ready to give up or cave in? Feel like you’re going to blow a fuse? Don’t know how you’ll ever smile again? Those are temporary feelings that we can have at times. But if we’re a Christian, we have hope. God offers to SUPPLY all our needs according to HIS RICHES in GLORY in CHRIST JESUS. Don’t tightly hold on to any angry or discouraged feelings. Rather, open your heart and hand. Take hold of what you need through God’s SUPPLY of glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
Heavenly Father, Thank You for being the SUPPLIER of all we need according to Your riches in glory in Christ Jesus!
“And my God will SUPPLY all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
Love the True God
Do you agree that our world is filled with a variety of gods to which we give our time, energy, and money? What kinds of gods? Sports gods, education gods, work gods, money gods, pleasure gods, political gods, and social gods to name a few. In effect, we worship them when they become the driving force in our life, occupy our thoughts, and even affect our mood. However Jesus makes it clear in John 17:3 that there is only one TRUE GOD. He is to be the object of our love and passion. He is to occupy and control our thoughts, emotions, energy, and resources. We are to love the LORD with ALL our heart, and ALL our soul, and ALL our mind. (Mark 12:30) And, importantly, as He states in John 17:3, He is the way to eternal life.
This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only TRUE GOD, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
What or whom do we worship and therefore give power to in our lives?
Lord, You are the only TRUE GOD. May we give You our full worship and praise.
So, What’s the Big Deal About Genealogy
In the last several years, there has been an increase in the number of people wanting to know about their ancestors. However, genealogy has always been important in the Bible. For instance, consider the first verse of the first chapter of the first book of the New Testament, Matthew 1:1.
The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham.”
Just in case someone might doubt Jesus’s rightful place as heir to King David’s throne, His lineage is recorded for the next twenty-five verses. Yes, Jesus is the Son of God, but He is also the Son of David. Among the many important implications, it is important to recognize that Jesus knows what it is to live in human skin – to need a nap, to feel tears roll down His cheek, and to thirst as He hung on the cross. Jesus’s genealogy is well proved and we will one day see Him sitting on His throne.
Son of David, we praise You for willingly leaving Your heavenly home to put on flesh and live among us. We love and adore You.
Who Can You Believe?
Do you ever wonder who you can believe? One person says one thing and another claims the opposite. Yes, it can sometimes be difficult to know who to believe, but not in the case of Jesus’s words. Revelation 1:5 describes Jesus Christ as “the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood-” Jesus is a faithful witness. A witness of what? He witnessed to us about heaven, His Father, about angels, crowns of righteousness awaiting believers, resurrection bodies, thrones, powers, kingdoms, the judgment seat, forgiveness, redemption, His Father’s house, and about Satan. Jesus testified about the fact that Abraham, Noah, Moses, and Jonah were real people and the Old Testament is true. Our confidence in the Bible and its teachings solidly rests on Christ because He is a faithful witness to us that they are true.
Jesus is Coming!
I love to gaze on the glory of the moon. The moon – IS – something that exists. The moon – WAS – created by God in eternity past. The moon WILL BE in our tomorrows. It appears in different phases but it is still the same moon. So why would we doubt that Jesus is the LORD WHO WAS the creator, WHO IS self-existent in heaven and in our hearts, and WHO IS TO COME? On December 25, we celebrate the LORD who came in the past in the appearance of a baby. But Revelation 1:4 says, CHRIST is not only “HE is WHO IS and WHO WAS,” He is the LORD “WHO IS TO COME…” Think about it. Jesus is coming again!
Lord Jesus, WHO IS, WHO WAS, AND WHO IS TO COME, help us mindfully serve Your purposes until You return again!