God’s Amazing Love in Christmas

The Christmas Story is really the story of God’s amazing love for us shown through the birth of Our Lord Jesus in a small manger.  Basically, God sent Jesus to us so He could spell out HIS love for us in a language we could understand.  From that manger to the cross, Jesus walked among us showering us with the love of God through our salvation in Him.

I read a devotional which told the story of workers entering an area after a devastating forest fire.  They found a lovely bird, with wings outspread, lying under a tree, who had perished in the flames.  When they went to move her, three little birds wiggled out from under her wings, chirping wildly.  That mother bird knew the danger, and covered her young from the flames.

God’s unfailing love for us is just like that – He has held us close under His wings when the fires of life rain down on us and always will;  he has protected and breathed new life into us and will through all eternity; he has forgiven us through the birth and death of His Son, Our Savior, Jesus Christ and will continue until we meet Him again.  When life has dark moments, we can celebrate Jesus, knowing that God is with Us! And always will be.  God’s overpowering love for us is, indeed, the reason for the season.

Let’s pray together:

Heavenly Father, during this Christmas season, we celebrate you and the love you so freely offer us.  There are so many things happening that we don’t understand but we choose to trust you.  There are those who are suffering, those who are hungry, those who are grieving – we lift them up to you for an outpouring of your love and healing grace because we choose to trust you.  As we celebrate your birth in Jesus Christ, we thank you and praise you,  asking for your strength to do and be all that you want us to be:   stronger in faith, knowing you are with us, and steeped in love for all your children. We thank you for gift of life, the gift of your son so that we might have life to the fullest and the power of the Holy Spirit within us for your glory.

We lay down before you all that we are and ever hope to be.  We open our hearts to you, Lord Jesus, there is room in our hearts for thee!  In your ever holy name and with Christmas joy, Amen.

Merry Christmas in Our Lord Jesus,

Barbara

I Love to Tell the Story

Greetings to you all in this Advent Season,

I would like to share with you a letter I wrote in our church newsletter this month.  I hope that you will join me in telling the story!

Recently, Jack and I were riding in the car listening to some old favorite hymns and “I Love to Tell the Story” began playing.  Now, who doesn’t just LOVE that wonderful hymn with words written by A. Catherine Hankey in 1870.  As I’m sure you can guess, the scripture on which this glorious hymn was based is in Acts 8:1, 4 describing the times when Saul was leading a great persecution of the Christian church, including approving of the stoning of Stephen.  “All but the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria.” “Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went.” In spite of Saul’s continued attacks, these men experienced miraculous healings and events in Jesus’ name.  They truly loved to tell the story.

We truly need to tell the story, “of Jesus and His Love.” We’ve rolled right into yet another Advent, where we await and excitedly anticipate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Will this be our usual tinsel, fruitcake, glittering Hallmark Christmas or will we place telling His story above all else?  I would like to ask you to join me in a NEW advent, a new Christmas Eve, a new Christmas day and a NEW year.  This year I want to “tell the old, old story I have loved so long.”

This hymn tells us WHY we should tell this story: “because I know it’s true.”  How do you and I know it’s true?  Think about that, and write down how you know.  WHY else do we tell it? “It satisfies my longings, like nothing else can do!”  How DOES Jesus satisfy our longings?  Let’s think back and remember when our Jesus has comforted us like no other.  Write it down.  Lord, there is none like you!

Every time we tell the story of Jesus’ love it is “more wonderfully sweet,” but very sadly, “some have never heard the message of salvation from God’s own holy Word.”  We read that the early persecuted Christians preached the Word wherever they went!!  How often do I tell the story?  Do you? Especially to folks who have never heard and believed in Jesus’ salvation message. ( Interestingly, the Lord has given me two opportunities to reach out in His name since I have written this letter.)

This season, I challenge you to think about how Jesus is central to your story and how you know that is true.  Then, take those glorious words and share them with those around you. In this hurting world, folks need to hear Jesus’ story in your life now more than ever before!

Advent begins the love song of Jesus flowing into our hearts, until “in scenes of glory we sing the new, new song” right by His side!

God’s love and blessings,

 Barbara