The Best Gift

Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus, who came “into the world to testify to the truth” (John 18:36). 

The truth is that each and every one of us is a sinner, and the penalty for sin must be paid. Jesus paid the ransom by His sacrificial death on a cross.

Repentance and acceptance of this gift are the only requirements for salvation. As a result, you come into eternal fellowship with God as His adopted child and are set free from the guilt and power of sin (John 8:31-32).

The love of God for eternity – what better gift could we have?

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life.
John 3:16

Thanks to the Lord

It is Thanksgiving 2020 today. Many may feel there is little reason to be grateful considering the many difficulties we have experienced this year. However, the difficulties actually serve to magnify how abundantly grateful we should be.

This earthly world is only temporary. For those who accept the gift of salvation through the atoning work of Jesus on the cross, there is a world to come that is void of pain and strife and sin and tears. Eyes turned on this magnificent blessing will be washed with joy and peace, causing the things of this earth to become dim. These eyes will shine with gratitude for God’s everlasting mercy.

Praise the Lord!
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
For His mercy is everlasting.

Psalm 106:1

Sorrowful, Yet Rejoicing

I love to laugh; there is something about it that just feels good. Smiling is also a pleasant sensation, especially when an unexpected delight grabs my attention. These “feel good” times are still part of my life, but they come far less frequently than in the past, which distresses some who know me. It seems they think I have little joy. The thing to note is this…

It is true that my face does not smile as much as it used to; I am not sure the smiling muscles work when my head hurts, my brain is foggy, and my energy is null. However, my soul is smiling; it is praising God for my salvation.

(Learning to Be Content)

In this way, I am “sorrowful, yet rejoicing” as Paul was (2 Cor. 6:10). He had experienced many trials (2 Cor. 6:4-9), but knew that his salvation was his source of joy. Peter knew this as well:

…who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials…

(1 Peter 1:5-6, bold font mine) 

Jesus had joy while He suffered on the cross because He knew the joy of heaven was coming (Heb. 12:2). Although this joy comforted Him, my guess is that He did not have a smile on His face while nails were pierced through His hands and feet and His lungs were collapsing. 

My suffering has caused me to turn my eyes on Jesus, “the author and perfecter of faith” (Heb. 12:2). He is not only my example for how to rejoice, but also my Savior. I rejoice in the God of my salvation with a smile in my soul.

Though the fig tree should not blossom
And there be no fruit on the vines,
Though the yield of the olive should fail
And the fields produce no food,
Though the flock should be cut off from the fold
And there be no cattle in the stalls,
Yet I will exult in the LORD,
I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.
(Habakkuk 3:17-18)

A Living and Holy Sacrifice

Oh dear Father… As you know, I’m lying down yet again because I’m too tired to sit or stand. I’m thankful that You’re here with me and that I have a comfortable pillow on which to rest my head. I admit that I struggle to lie here peacefully. Please forgive me and help me to trust that You have placed me here for a good reason whether I understand what it is or not. Please help me to not covet the things that I think would be more pleasing to me to do during this time. Instead, I want to present myself as a living sacrifice, purified from sinful thoughts about my circumstances. Please renew my mind to conform it to Your will.
In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen. 

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Romans 12:1-2

Made for Another World

The mother rabbit stared at me, blades of grass extending from both sides of her mouth, as she waited to place the final covering over the nest she had recently made for her newborns. Confident that it was safe to proceed, she gently worked to secure her babies into the bed of her own fur. My heart soared as I watched this tender act of love.

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In All Things

I recently posted the following message on my FaceBook page: ** Coronavirus Alert ** Romans 8:28 is still in the Bible. My reason for doing so is the same as for this post. My impression is that many Christians are misled on what is important in our current situation with the coronavirus.Read More »

Be Safe

As I prepared to end the phone call, the salesperson said, “Be safe.” I thought this was odd since I hadn’t heard this phrase used in impersonal conversations. However, it is now common to my daily life, including the plethora of emails I receive each day that close with “Be safe.” I find myself wondering what each person is actually suggesting I do to be safe.Read More »

Your Will Be Done

With a highly contagious virus roaming the earth, I find myself resisting. I have been sick for the past several years and am just starting to climb out of the pit of pain and fatigue. My fleshly desire is for the slowly progressing momentum to continue so that I can regain enough function to return to some of my former activities. The prospect of contracting a virus that would tax my body and likely reduce it back to a quivering lump of jelly is not my will. Yet…

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Sinful Discontent

Current events and the resulting “at home” status in many areas of the world tempt us to desire other than what we have. We want to be able to choose where we go, when we can go there, and what we can do once we get there. However, we must remember key truths about God in order to prevent sinful discontent from sprouting and flourishing. My intent is to briefly examine these truths over the course of several blog posts.

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