Archive | God’s Word for Today

Yes, I’m Frustrated! So What?

Several unrelated circumstances mixed together earlier this week to create the “perfect storm.” People not following through with what they promised. Others getting something wrong that seemed so simple to me. Another needing my time when I wanted to be doing something else.

By the time I sat down to dinner, my frustration erupted in a tirade of words, self-righteously proclaiming to my family why I had the right to be so frustrated. Of course the rehearsal of it all only fed my frustration.

Raise your hands if you’ve been there. If you haven’t, no need to read further.

This morning I actually worked up the courage to ask myself – and God – how I got there. How did I allow myself to slip into that spiral of anger and indignation?

frustrationOf course the quick answer is that I’m sinful. Although saved by the blood of Jesus, I will continue to battle sin until I die or until Christ returns and relieves me once and for all from this mortal flesh.

The longer – and more helpful – answer required a little more thought and prayer. Here’s a few things God reminded me of this morning:

  • I think too highly of myself – (See Romans 12:2-3 and Philippians 2:3.) Oh, pride! I just knew I could do it better, faster, and get greater results. I felt my time and my agenda were more important than the other person’s. I did not consciously think this in the moment, but looking back, I can see it.
  • I tend to be a selfish control freak – I want things done my way, in my time frame. I’ve been reading about David in my quiet time recently. This morning the passage was  from 2 Samuel chapters one and two where Saul dies and David is crowned king over Judah. There were a lot of years, pain, and uncertainty between God’s anointing and the crown being placed on David’s head. I realized once again that God rarely does things the way I would do them and when I would do them. I must continue to learn to trust His ways and His perfect timing, knowing that He is working all things for His glory, not mine.
  • I’m a poor listener – Oh, I’m really fast at giving directions and voicing my desires and concerns. But I very slow to listen to the other guy. And that causes all kinds of problems. (See James 1:19-20.)

Mix these things together, add other people and their own stuff, and you get a big, heaping mound of frustration. In the moment of the venting it almost seems justified. But afterwards… well, it becomes obvious it’s not.

So, what’s the answer? Jesus is the ultimate answer. I need Him desperately. However, I can also learn from God’s Word and apply His truths. For instance:

  • Practice humility. Maintain an accurate estimation of myself, by keeping my eyes on Jesus as my example.
  • Reflect on the sovereignty, faithfulness, and love of God.
  • Close my mouth more often and open my ears more quickly.

Frustration is an emotion and not necessarily sinful in and of itself. However, it can lead to all kinds of sinful thoughts, words, and actions. And it’s certainly not tasty. I’m praying I won’t be serving it up at dinner again anytime soon.

Okay, ya’ll. Don’t leave me hanging here. Am I the only one who succumbs to frustration? What has God taught you about yourself and how to deal with it? Let’s talk!

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World Vision, Hobby Lobby, and the Real Issue

How ironic. While Hobby Lobby wages a spiritual battle in the US Supreme Court, World Vision loses one without ever picking up a sword.

Before you read any further, please hear this: My intent is not to debate, defend, or denounce abortion or same-sex marriage.

Neither of those are the real issue anyway. The issue is the believer’s relationship to God’s Word. Will we stand firm on its truth and not be moved? Or will we float on the tide of the cultural stream?

World Vision, Hobby LobbyJust in case you’ve been living under a rock, here’s a quick summary of these two recent news stories:

  • American craft store giant, Hobby Lobby, is fighting for its religious right to not provide its employees with four specific contraceptive methods, mandated by Obama Care. The Green family, who owns Hobby Lobby, – and many others, scientists included – believe these four, including the Morning After pill and IUDs, can actually cause abortions, which is in opposition to their faith. The US Supreme Court heard the case on Tuesday. An unfavorable ruling will cost Hobby Lobby millions of dollars every year if the Christian-owned store continues to stand firm on what it believes to be God’s truth. (You can read about both sides of the argument in this USA Today article.)
  • Earlier this week, World Vision, one of the world’s largest Christian relief organizations, announced a significant employee policy change. World Vision’s American branch will now accept employees who are in same-sex marriages. This is a reversal of the policy implemented under the organization’s founder. According to World Vision’s current president, Richard Stearns, (as cited by this article in Christianity Today) the decision was “not symbolic of compromise but of [Christian] unity.”

Hobby Lobby fights for the legal right to act in accordance with what it believes to be true based on God’s Word. This has been and will continue to be a long, expensive, and painful battle. In contrast, World Vision changes it stand. Why? World Vision once believed that union between one man and one woman was God’s design. They believed that was truth. And while truth hasn’t changed, what our culture accepts and doesn’t accept has.

Let’s be honest. It’s just plain harder to swim upstream. Ask Hobby Lobby.

Yesterday, when I first heard about World’s Vision decision, I was confronted with a decision. What should I do about the child I sponsor through that organization?

Honestly, my knee-jerk reaction was to immediately pull my support. But after praying, listening, and thinking, I sense God leading me to keep my commitment. I made a commitment to a little boy, not to World Vision. And no company – Christian or not – will make right decisions 100% of the time.

Obligation to the Truth

However, if the Bible is God’s inspired, unchanging Word, we have an obligation to stand firmly on it’s truth. To “compromise” on anything we believe God’s Word clearly teaches – even in the name of unity – is to side with sin.

I do acknowledge that no individual believer, group of believers, church, or denomination can interpret or apply the Bible with complete accuracy. In fact, since we are fallible, sinful, humans, we will make mistakes in understanding and handling God’s Word. We will read it through our own worldviews and infuse it with our own prejudices.

Difference in Interpretation or Compromise?

But if we are honest with ourselves, we are more susceptible to compromise than we are to misinterpretation. Will we cling to God’s truth even if it hurts or costs us money or makes us a target? Or will we comprise with the truth in the name of unity or relevance or grace. (FYI – I do believe in love, forgiveness, and grace! Check out my post, “Question Raised by the Duck Controversy,” to hear what I have to say about truth and grace working together!)

The Greens (Hobby Lobby) are willing to put their business and their livelihood on the line rather than compromise the truth of God’s Word. I admire them and hope I would make the same brave choice.

World Vision would rather change their beliefs and compromise with the truth than risk offending the culture. What a dangerous and slippery slope.

The real issue is not what Hobby Lobby believes about the morning after pill or what World Vision believes about same-sex marriage. It’s not what you or I believe about them. The real issue is faithfulness to God and His truth.

Are we willing to stand uncompromisingly on the truth of God’s Word whatever the issue and whatever the risk? I pray so.

Here’s a few other posts on this topic you might find interesting:

STORY UPDATE:

Praise God! With humility and repentance, World Vision announced today that the organization has reversed it’s decision! They have admitted to being inconsistent with God’s Word and their own statement of faith. Read More Now.

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14 Ways to Show Real Love

It’s February 13. People are busy buying gifts for their Valentines. Those tokens of love will amount to about 196 million roses, around180 million cards, and – my personal favorite – roughly 58 million pounds of chocolate. I imagine quite a few “I love you’s” will be tossed around too.

How will you express your love? It’s easy to buy a gift and say a few words. But, the Bible’s definition of love sets the bar much higher.

Valentine's Day LoveThe apostle John said it this way: “Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth” (1 John 3:18, NIV). So, if love is action, how do we love? Below are 14 ways from Scripture that you can actively show love to the people you love.

  1. Help them out of a tight spot – When Jesus attended a wedding with His mother, she asked Him to help the hosts when they ran out of wine. We may not be able to miraculously solve a problem, but God has gifted us in other ways to help. (John 2:1-11)
  2. Get them help when you can’t help them – A paralyzed man received healing from Jesus because his friends dropped him through a roof at Jesus’ feet. They were willing to do whatever it took it to get help for their friend! (Mark 2:1-12)
  3. Pray for them - The Bible is full of people praying for the ones they love. The church prayed for Peter in jail (Acts 12:5). Jesus prayed for the disciples (John 17:6-19). Paul prayed for the Ephesian believers (Ephesians1:15-23).
  4. Rebuke them when needed – Sometimes the best way we can love someone is by confronting their sinful, destructive behavior (Proverbs 27:6, Matthew18:15-17).
  5. Freely forgive offenses – Jesus eliminated the limit on forgiveness when Peter asked how many times he should forgive (Matthew 18:21-22). Some hurts seem unforgivable, but with God’s help it’s possible to “promote love” through forgiveness (Proverbs 17:9).
  6. Humbly serve them – Jesus set the example (John 13:1-17). He calls us – His followers – to also humbly and graciously serve others (Gal 5:13).
  7. Meet their physical needs - Scripture is clear. If we see a brother in need, have the means to help but don’t, our love for God should be questioned (1 John 3:17).
  8. Rejoice and mourn with them - We show deep care for others when their hurts and joys are also ours. Don’t hold back. Let the tears and the cheers flow! (1 Cor 12:25-26).
  9. Show kindness to someone they love – King David expressed his deep bond of friendship for Jonathan by caring for Jonathan’s crippled son Mephibosheth (2 Samuel 9:1-13).
  10. Intercede with others on their behalf - Could your influence help a loved one? Barnabas smoothed the way for Paul with the Jerusalem church leaders (Acts 9:27-30). Paul wrote to Philemon appealing for Onesimus the runaway slave (Philemon 8-11).
  11. Help two loved ones work out their differences - Does strife exist between two people you love? Be a mediator and help them mend their relationship. Paul asked the believers in Philippi help two women in their church (Philippians 4:2-3).
  12. Introduce them to Jesus – Does a loved one desperately need to know Jesus? Share the Good News! Andrew introduced his brother Peter to Jesus (John 1:35-42).
  13. Encourage and disciple them in their relationship with Christ - The author of Hebrews tells us to “spur one another on to good works” and “encourage one another” daily (Hebrews 10:24-25).
  14. “Lay down your life!” - Seems pretty drastic, but that’s exactly how Jesus showed His love for us (John 15:12-13). The basic principle has much broader application than actual physical death. Jesus calls us to unselfishly seek put others ahead of ourselves.

Wow! Buying a card and a box of chocolates is a lot easier. But Hallmark and Hershey doesn’t say love like real love in action. Show somebody you love them today!

Who can you show love to today? How will you show it?

 

 

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Everyone Wants a Coat Like Joe’s

The Super Bowl wasn’t so super this year. Not only did my team lose, it wasn’t even a fun game to watch. It was simply too one-sided.

As usual, the commercials helped to keep things interesting. But something unexpected grabbed the attention of America. Did you see it?

Joe Namath’s coat.

As quarterback for the New York Jets in the 60’s and 70’s, Namath’s fondness for fur was well known. Apparently, this 70-year-old football legend didn’t want to disappoint his fans when he tossed the coin for this year’s big game at Met Life Stadium. He reportedly bought the $3,000 coyote and fox coat just for the occasion.

Joe Namath's coatNamath – or rather, Namath’s cost – immediately caused a firestorm on social media sites. In fact, before the game was over, the coat had it’s own Twitter account. Some – like PETA – hated it. But many, many others wanted a coat of their own.

The Manhattan storeowner who sold Namath the coat said business has been booming since it debuted at the Super Bowl. According to an article on NYPost.com “The publicity has helped Kaufman’s business. He said he’s had at least 30 media inquiries, made some sales Monday morning, and ‘Inside Edition’ was planning on a piece.”

Wow. The hoopla over Joe’s coat sadly demonstrates our culture’s obsession with “stuff.”

The Broncos may have gone down, but Joe’s coat went viral.

I know of another coat that caused a big uproar too. In fact, its owner’s name was also Joe. But this Joseph didn’t run down to the local furrier for his coat. It was a gift from his dad, Jacob.

Joe’s brothers were none too happy about it either. The “richly ornamented robe” incited jealousy because it reminded the brothers that their father had a favorite. And it wasn’t them. Then their jealousy turned into action and they sold Joseph into slavery (Genesis 37: 3-28). And it all started with a coat.

What is it about “stuff?” We want more. We glamorize it. We envy others’ stuff. We fight over it. We even kill for it.

Jesus knew that love of stuff would draw us away from God, that whatever we “treasure” would capture our hearts (Matthew 6:19-21) – and apparently our social media accounts. Jesus’ brother, James, bluntly described those who succumbed to earthly desires as “adulterous” and friends of the world (James 4:1-4).

Loving stuff is serious business for a believer. Left unchecked, it will determine our motives and dictate our actions. We must deal with it decisively. Here’s James prescription in bullet points (James 4:7-10):

  • Submit yourself to God
  • Resist the devil
  • Draw near to God
  • Turn from our sin (wash, purify, grieve, mourn, wail)
  • Humble ourselves before God

Praise God! When we come before God in humble repentance, He will lift us up!

Self-examination time. Has a love of stuff taken God’s rightful place in our hearts? Do you “want a coat like Joe’s?” Where do you struggle?

 

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The 5 Most Challenging Bible Verses

Some verses in the Bible are easier to swallow than others. Even though I wholeheartedly believe them all, there are some I honestly just don’t like very much. In fact, some Bible verses are too challenging.

Let me explain.

Some verses, like “He gives strength to the weary…” and “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurable more than all we ask or imagine…” cause me to throw my arms open wide and yell “Bring it on, Lord!”

But others cause me to sigh and take a deep breath and think, “Really? Isn’t that kind of difficult?”

Bible versesBelow are 5 verses that I find really challenging to fully embrace and live out every day. Oh, there are others too – and I may have a slightly different top 5 tomorrow – but these will definitely stay in at least the top 10 for the indefinite future.

  1. Matthew 6:33 – I really like the last half of this verse about God supplying my needs, oh yes! But when we read the whole thing in the context of the passage, we see the primary topic is worry. Jesus said we spend too much time and energy worrying about our needs. We allow worry to keep us from pursuing Jesus and His Kingdom. The challenge: To turn off the worry and turn to Jesus. Or better yet, turn to Jesus to turn off the worry!
  2. James 1:2 – James doesn’t waste any time with small talk in his letter. Essentially he says, “Dear Jewish believers, be full of joy when life punches you in the gut.” (My paraphrase of course.) Sounds unrealistic right? James says we can be joyful in spite of our circumstances because we know God plans to use them for our spiritual good and for His purposes. The challenge: To keep our eyes on the spiritual and eternal rather than the physical and temporary.
  3. Romans 12:2 – God wants us to be like Jesus, not like the world around us. But truly, it’s like fighting a battle every day. Our culture constantly bombards us with values and behavior that is contrary to the character of Christ. The challenge: To strap on that spiritual armor, refuse to compromise, and yield ourselves to the Spirit’s transforming power. (Mandisa shares one battle story here.)
  4. John 15:12 – Okay, let’s be honest. Sometimes our fellow believers aren’t easy to love. Plus, did you notice that Jesus said we should love each other “as I have loved you.” Well, Jesus gave His life for us, so this is really extreme. He wants us to be willing to die for each other. To put others’ needs ahead of our own. To honor others over ourselves. The challenge: To take off pride and selfishness and put on humility and selflessness in order to genuinely love others.
  5. Galatians 2:20 – Wait a minute. My life isn’t my life? Nope. Jesus purchased my life on the cross and it’s His to do with as He sees fit. But if I can remember this, the previous 4 challenging verses suddenly get a lot easy to live out. The challenge: To consciously choose every minute of every day to give my life to Jesus.

Jesus’ way may seem challenging. But the reality is, He only wants what’s best for us. His way is abundant and satisfying and joyful. His way is life.

Please feel free to disagree with my list. Or add to it! What Bible verses do you find the most challenging and why?

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You are Insignificant

You and I are insignificant. Our impact on this earth is miniscule. Negligible.

We are but a breath. A blip in history. Even Scripture describes us as grass that quickly withers away (Isaiah 40:7).

It’s easy to forget just how insignificant we truly are because our personal universe is quite small. We’re a big fish in a small pond, as they say.

But, if you take a moment to contemplate the scope of God’s creation, your perspective will change. Recently, I did just that. My small group is reading “Crazy Love” by Francis Chan. In the book, Chan directs you to watch the following 3-minute video. I encourage you to watch it now.

Are you awed? If not, watch it again, because you missed something. We are insignificant. Lost in God’s great cosmos.

Now here’s the thing that should really blow our minds:

As insignificant as we are, God loves us and wants us.

Before He created the first star, He knew you (Ephesians 3:4-5). He does not need you, but He loves you and wants you (Acts 17:25, 27). He knows and cares about your every need (Matthew 6:28-33). You are so important to Him, that He gave His only Son over to death so you could be with Him forever (John 3:16).

In the midst of His vast, glorious cosmos, God sees you and calls you by name. And insignificant becomes significant.

How does it feel to be truly so small? How does it feel that God knows you and loves you?

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10 Characteristics of a Blameless Life

Monday Minute in the Word, devotionThis post about a blameless life was the most-viewed post of 2013! And it originally posted in September 2012!

Imagine entering heaven and approaching God’s throne. Picture yourself as you kneel at His feet and bask in the joy of His presence. All the struggles of life fade away as you praise Him who sits on the throne.

Do you long to enter God’s holy presence and joyfully worship at His feet? The woman whose “walk is blameless” (Psalm 15:2, NIV) may dwell in God’s sanctuary and live on His holy hill. I long to enter God’s presence, but I’m not sure I would describe myself as “blameless.”

According to Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, the Hebrew word translated as “blameless” in Psalm 15:2 describes a person with “nothing in his outward activities or internal disposition that is odious to God.”

Good definition, but that’s too general for me to get my mind around. I need some specifics about what a “blameless” life looks like. Thankfully, the Bible tells us. Psalm 15 and 102 describe a blameless life (Read them now if you have time. They are not long.) The following list of characteristics is derived from these two psalms of David.

  1. She practices praise – Regularly contemplate the holy nature of God. Recognizing His worthiness will not only foster praise, we will also be moved to obedience.
  2. She lives with integrity at home – Sometimes we fail to purposefully watch our words and actions at home like we do other places. We tend to let our guard down; to allow our first, sinful instincts to rule. We need to be as careful at home as we are away from home.
  3. She turns away from everything vile or vulgar – “Blameless” woman do not compromise with the sinful ways of the world. We don’t allow ourselves to become desensitized to immorality, crudeness, or risqué humor by watching it, reading it, or listening to it. For a sad example, read my recent post “Holiness is not a Shade of Grey.”
  4. She ruthlessly guards against evil thoughts and behavior (vs 3b-4) – We must proactively rid our lives of every thought and action contrary to the nature and character of God.
  5. She does not use her words to tear others down – Our speech should be edifying and encouraging. That doesn’t mean everything we need to say will be easy. But it does mean it will be helpful to the hearer.
  6. She does not collaborate with ungodly, wicked people (vs 3-4) – The only way to never encounter ungodly people is to leave this life and transfer to heaven. However, we can choose not to enter into agreements, projects, or business dealings with people whose worldview is not Christ-centered.
  7. She embraces honesty – Satan is the father of lies. Anytime we are less than honest we have yielded to the tempter! Let’s commit to total honesty in our own lives and conduct. We should also expect honesty from the people around us and distance ourselves from those who refuse to be honest.
  8. She does not seek gain that brings harm to others – God wants us to use our God-given skills, talents, and gifts to support the Kingdom, serve others, and provide for ourselves and our families. However, any effort for gain or advancement that takes advantage of others is sinful.
  9. She squashes pride and conceit – Pride fosters an abundance of sin. Those who want to live blameless before God will seek humility by keeping both God and ourselves in proper perspective.
  10. She helps, encourages, and protects the godly – God calls us to serve others and meet the needs of those who cannot help themselves. Do we respond when they cross our paths?

This may not be a complete list of “blameless” characteristics, but it’s a start. Let’s keep searching God’s Word, applying what He shows us, and enjoying His holy presence!

Which of these 10 characteristics do you struggle with the most? Why is that, do you think?

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5 Tips for Setting Spiritual Growth Goals for the New Year

This was the #2 post of 2013. All the principles still apply to 2014!

What do the following things have in common?

  • Exercise more
  • Lose weight
  • Improve my relationships
  • Pay off debt
  • Get organized

New Year, 2014 goalsEvery year these items pop up in lists of the Top Ten New Year’s Resolutions. Do you plan on making resolutions for 2014? The first of the year is a great time to start fresh, set goals, and begin something new. In fact, it’s the perfect time to evaluate our spiritual health and set some goals for growth.

We can’t cause our spiritual growth. Only the Holy Spirit has the power to transform us into the image of Christ (2 Cor 3:18). But God does expect our obedient and active cooperation (1 Cor 9:24-27). One way we can purposefully “train ourselves to be godly” (1 Tim 4:7-8) is through spiritual evaluation and goal-setting.

Resolutions and goals are often hard to keep. Statistics show that, at best, only 46% of New Year’s resolutions are still kept six months into the year. People lose their resolve quickly because they set unattainable goals.

The following five tips will help us set personal discipleship goals that will keep us growing through the year:

  1. Concentrate your efforts. Set just one, two, or three goals at a time. Don’t spread yourself too thin. When you experience success then add another goal.
  2. Be realistic. Set goals that are attainable. If you don’t read your Bible regularly now, don’t set a goal to read the entire Bible in three months. Instead commit to read it 3 to 5 times per week.
  3. Think concretely. Set goals so progress can be measured. For instance, this goal is too ambiguous: I’m going to spend more time with God. Instead be concrete: I will read one Bible chapter and pray for 10 minutes five times a week.
  4. Include strategies. Develop strategies designed to move you toward your goals. If one goal is to memorize Scripture, determine how you will do that. What verses you will memorize? How often you will tackle a new one? What memorization techniques you will use?
  5. Create manageable steps. Break your overall goal into a series of smaller goals that are doable and will foster success.

How do we begin? First, take a serious look at your spiritual health. You may use the free “Discipleship Evaluation” download. This tool covers 17 different key discipleship areas. Your weakest areas can be great growth areas in 2014.

Next, set spiritual growth goals using the five tips above. Planning is not “unspiritual.” Living a life that glorifies God will not happen by accident. The free “Spiritual Goals” worksheet walks you through specific areas of discipleship such as time with God, ministry, service, and Christian education.

Most importantly, ask God to guide you as you evaluate your spiritual health and set goals for growth. He will bring the spiritual transformation as you strive to live a live that pleases Him.

What kind of spiritual growth goals have you had in the past? How did it go?

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8 Tips for the Perfect Re-gift

Re-giftHave you ever received a re-gift? Have you ever re-gifted? The term “re-gift,” first coined by Jerry Seinfield on his hit TV show, means to give as a gift something one previously received as a gift. For instance, on my 40th birthday a teacher friend of mine gave me a nice bath salts ball neatly wrapped in cellophane and tied with ribbon. The gift label firmly stuck on the cellophane read, “To Mrs. Smith, from your student Susie.” Whoops! (By the way, names were changed to protect a not-so-savvy re-gifter.)

My re-gifting friend could have benefited from the re-gifting rules below. Please keep these in mind as you finish up your Christmas shopping – whether at the mall or in your closet. (Keep reading to the end of the post to find out about the perfect re-gift!)

Rules for Re-gifting

1.      Check your motivation – do you have good intentions? Don’t re-gift simply because you ran out of time. Make sure the item will be desirable to the recipient.

2.      Update the wrapping – do not re-give a gift in its original gift bag if crinkled or torn, or even worse, in the wrapping paper it was in when given to you. Most importantly check for original gift tags and cards. These are a dead giveaway as I well know.

3.      Don’t re-gift something you’ve used – this includes partially used gift cards; one gift receiver found a few grains of rice in a “new” rice cooker she was given. Continue Reading →

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Messy Christmas

Christmas treeThis post originally ran December 2012.

Christmas often comes with high expectations. We think everything has to be just so. Perfect decorations. Perfect family. Perfect gifts. Perfect meal.

Our culture perpetuates this fantasy. In the dozens of made-for-TV Christmas movies, the girl always finds her soul mate, the estranged father is always reunited with his family, the boy always gets the puppy, and the table is always laden with beautiful food (which must have been made by Christmas elves because you don’t see anyone slaving away for hours in the kitchen).

But here’s the problem with high expectations: many of us will be disappointed. Life will never be perfect – not even at Christmas. Maybe especially at Christmas. The arrival of December 25th does not magically heal broken relationships or ease the pain of loss or pay the bills.

In fact, Christmas tends to intensify any grief, anxiety, and sadness we feel because we compare our imperfect, messy lives to that unrealistic perfect image. When our lives don’t measure up, we lose hope. Without hope, Christmas becomes a time we have to get through instead of a joyful celebration.

Here’s the good news: Real hope for Christmas is not in a golden turkey or a new Kindle or a happy family gathered around a gorgeous tree. Real hope is in a babe in a manger. God come to earth to be with us. Immanuel.

The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us… In Him was life and that life was the light of men… We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth… To all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become the children of God.  John 1:4, 12, 14

This life is messy and will be messy until Jesus comes back for His children. In the meantime, we will encounter trials, pain, death, sickness, divorce, heartache – oh, just name! However, in the middle of all our mess we can find strength, joy, and peace in the Savior. The birth of that one tiny baby long ago provides hope – for this life and eternity.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade – kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 1 Peter 1:3-5

Does your life feel messy this Christmas? Lay it all at the manger. Find your Christmas joy and peace in the Child of Christmas. In your Savior.

Are you struggling with a messy life this Christmas season? Share a thought about the hope, joy, and peace you can find in Christ!

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