January 26, 2017
Our lives are not defined by how well we have achieved the goals that we set for ourselves in our few years here on earth. Our lives are defined by who we are in Him, the One who lives forever. He is our God. We are His people.
Through Christ, He has redeemed us from our slavery to sin and set us free. Our freedom in Him defines everything about who we are…our freedom in Him defines everything about the way that we live our lives…and our freedom in Him defines everything about the reason for which we live our lives.
You see, freedom doesn’t mean that we can just enjoy life and do whatever we want to do. Our freedom in Him means that we are finally free to live the life that we were created for, the life that HE intended us to live.
We are not the masters of our own lives. We are stewards, or caretakers of the life that comes from HIM.
So if that’s how it is, then what is your life about? Where should you focus your energy to live a life that really matters?
January 18, 2017
No matter what this year brings, you need to know that God will never forsake you. As long as you have breath in your lungs, you have a Father who will love you relentlessly, who will never take His eyes off of you, who will never fail to keep His promises to you, who will pursue you and walk with you and carry you. And He won’t stop until He has brought you finally and safely home.
He might disappoint you by not doing things the way you want Him to do them….but He will not FAIL you.
January 13, 2017
Christmas is so nice. We put shiny, colorful decorations everywhere. We fill the air with special music. We spend lots of money to buy special gifts. We put on our smart new suits and our beautiful new dresses and we all enjoy a big celebration. And it is wonderful.
But we don’t live in a world of parties and holiday cheer. We live in the real world. And in the real world, life is tough. This world is filled with disappointment and frustration. It is filled with anger and hurt. It is filled with loneliness and betrayal. Failure and shame.
That is the world we live in, a beautiful world, but a world that is scarred by sin. And Christians are not vaccinated against the pain of this world. We live right in the midst of it, and we experience the effects of it.
But as we walk through life in this very difficult world, we can do so with the confidence that God Himself is walking through it with us, every step of the way.
“The word became flesh and dwelt among us.” It was the goal of creation. It was the promise of Christmas. It is the hope of today. And it is the hope of every tomorrow - the simple but beautiful reality that He is Immanuel, “God WITH us.”
January 13, 2017
Everything about the scene in Bethlehem seemed to make it the wrong setting for the Messiah to be born. And it tells me something about how deep the heart of God really is, a big, majestic God who humbles Himself in love and stoops low to enter fully into the worst of this world.
It makes me think that if God can enter the world like that, then maybe, just maybe, He would be willing to come and live in the midst of the messy circumstances of my existence, too.
He is more than willing. And that baby in the manger is a perfect picture of just how far this wonderful, all-powerful God will go in order to turn your life inside out with His love. It’s a relentless love, a heroic love, a “no matter what” kind of love. That’s the heart of Christmas.