Never think too little or too much of yourself that you move away from God’s purposeful design for you!
This acacia tree is perfectly made for the desert. It survives on little water due to its umbrella like shape that greatly reduces evaporation by protecting its roots from the hot sun.
It also has small leaves to keep evaporation low, which allows it to not only survive, but thrive in the hot desert. These leaves also give food and hydration to desert animals keeping them alive.
This was God’s design for this tree. It is not a majestic redwood or a sturdy oak. It’s a simple tree in the middle of a desert that many will never see.
It might complain, “God, why did you make me this way? You’ve got to be kidding! I’m only useful for shade, which hardly anyone will use, and feeding a few animals? Really?”
Yet this tree’s wood was made into one of the most important pieces of furniture ever made – the Ark of the Covenant. It was on top of this box of gold covered wood where God dwelt inside the Tabernacle and eventually the 1st Temple.
The moment you placed your faith in Jesus, you became God’s workmanship. He took what you might have thought was useless and insignificant to make something very special – His Home.
Your God given box has a grand purpose whether you live in the desert or in a forest.
Everything that happens to us, whether “good” or “bad”, can be used by God to shape Christ’s character into our lives, which not only lasts for eternity, not only gives hope that we are going “home” someday, but also is a witness to those around us.
Your box is important to your Father, who paid a heavy price for it! Never doubt it. It’s true.
Hold on. Jesus knows what He’s doing.
One of the reasons Jesus was conceived in a woman, birthed in a cave and set in a cow’s eating trough was to become a man who could say with total credibility, “Been there, done that!”
As a human, He grew in wisdom (Lk. 2:52). And yes, there were times He didn’t know the future (Matt. 24:36), which meant He had to trust His Father with it.
This Christmas never lose sight of the fact that Jesus was fully human. Yes, He came to die; but, He first had to live.
So, surrender and let Him show you how to live. He does understand what you are facing. He walked in your shoes and knows what He’s doing.
Now, come let us adore Him!
“The Christmas message is that there is hope for a ruined humanity.” J.I. Packer
We’ve all lost loved ones. Wait a second. They are not lost. They are at home with Jesus because of what Jesus did for them.
We say lost, because we are missing them as they are not with us. Wait a second. This is not true either. They are with us, just not physically.
Christmas will be the next holiday without mom2. My Father took my wife’s mom home with Him back in July. I was the last one to physically touch and see her as I was tasked with removing her wedding ring to give it to dad.
Yet that is not the picture I remember. I can still see her smile. I can still hear her laughter. I can still taste the See’s candy she had at the house for Christmas.
Yeah, it’s tough. I’ll miss seeing and hearing her in a few days. But the fact is, she believed in what Jesus did for her, which gives me hope that I will indeed actually see and hear her again.
Seasons can be tough. But hope gets us through them. This hope is what Christmas is all about to me.
Jesus came to be born in the most humble means to die the most horrible death to rise from the loneliest grave to live the greatest life, eternal life, for people like you and me to have the surest hope possible.
A friend of mine recently “lost” his father who is home with the Father as well. I told him that I would pray for him when it got tough for me. He said he’d do the same.
Maybe there is someone you can pass your hope along to this Christmas Season. Let them know that you’re praying for them in the midst of your tough season.
Hopefully, this will bring a smile to their face and peace to their heart in the midst of their tough season.
Let God use your life to show off Who He is.
David starts out Psalm 19 by writing six verses about how God shows off who He is through His creation. Then, he uses the next eight verses to talk about how God’s Word can work wonders in one’s life.
There is a God out there who is talking. He’s telling all of humanity who He is and what He can do when listened to (vs. 1-6). Then, as those who apply what He says to do, they will see their lives forever changed (vs. 7-14).
This change comes about because they took the given empirical data (head knowledge) and used it in their everyday choices (life experience). This allows those around them to see Who God is in everyday life, which is a witness and what Jesus has asked His followers to be.
Head knowledge people, however, can’t be a witness. They have never experienced that knowledge for themselves.
God is still talking through His creation. And those who say they love Jesus can bring heaven to earth as they move beyond theory to actually living out that theory in their daily choices.
Choose to allow God to use you to show off Who He is, today.
Faith isn’t knowing where you’re going, but in who you’re walking with.
A friend recently sent pictures of an island beach. The path to this beach could not be arrived at through driving a car or even riding a bike. Those kinds of roads led to places everyone could experience.
This path was muddy and rutted clay due to sporadic rain. It also wound through a tropical forest, which meant you couldn’t see the beach while walking and had exposed tree roots that ran both across and down it.
These conditions made for quite slippery and unstable footing. Falling on your backside was definitely a possible outcome.
Would you take the risk in order to experience this beautiful beach?
Faith is a risk not in walking on that obstacle filled path, but in the one telling you to take the path. Jesus calls you His friend and says He will walk with you on whatever path He has chosen for you.
Yeah, there are plenty of beautiful beaches where the path is easy; and, you can get there on your own.
Jesus, however, wants you to walk with Him where the potential to fall is greater. But while walking with Him, you will be experiencing who He is and what He can do. And He’s there to pick you up, if you fall, because He wants you to experience where He’s taking you!
That’s what faith is – choosing to walk with Jesus on the path of His choosing, known or unknown, challenging or stable. Your faith is in Him, not in you or in your abilities.
Guess what? There’s a beach out with your name it!