Christmas time seems to be a time where everything gets sorta amplified huh.
For many it's a very hard time with pain, heartbreak, financial strain, emptiness, regret and loneliness… because of the loved ones who used to be there, but for some reason or another are no longer there. I'm sure that you've heard how the suicide rate climbs during this time of year so it's good for us all to be sensitive and vigilant.
Did you know that every 13.7 minutes someone in the United States dies by suicide?..that men are about 4 times more likely to die by suicide than women are?..that women actually attempt suicide 3 times as often as men do?..and that suicide rates are highest for people between the ages of 40 and 59? That's all true, but God can give us a hope that's living. Christ is our Hope, He has a plan for you and He really loves you.
For many Christmas can be a big challenge to deal with. So many simply endure it and just want to get through it. Please know that full and abundant life ..Life during life.. can be had for free during all the holidays and even in between.
Can you believe all the jewelry and other tech-gift ads that we get hit with? And the Christmas event never seems to live up to all the worldly hype does it? They pour the pressure on with hope of gain. So let's forget the hype and simply focus on what they call the real reason for the season—Jesus Christ. And He, His virgin birth, His coming here to die a sinless death for the sins of the whole world, and His physical resurrection really are the reason. No one could know His saving mercy and grace apart from all that and being born twice.
If you're born once, you will die twice, if you are born twice, you will only die once..and that is physically..unless the Rapture happens first.
The birth of Christ; that's what brought God to man, and the cross of Christ; that's what brings man to God. He draws us to Himself and to lay it all down at the cross. How? By His Spirit. Who would die to self and to their own way on their own? No one.
In Adam all are toast, but in Christ all are not. They'll all pop up. The Bible says, "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ's at His coming" (1 Cor. 15:22-23). So let's remember the Lord and His beautiful Scriptures…
"When the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son." Galatians 4:4"Unto us a Child is born; unto us a Son is given." Isaiah 9:6"God sent forth His Son, born of a woman... to redeem those who were under the law." Galatians 4:4-5
When God stepped out of heaven above and came down to this earth, He clothed Himself in human flesh—a Child of lowly birth. ~ D. De Haan"Thou Bethlehem, though you be little among the thousands of Judah…" Micah 5:2"Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord" Luke 2:11
Mild He lays His glory by, born that man no more may die. Born to raise the sons of earth, born to give them second birth. ~ Wesley"I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness." John 12:46
Come to the Light, 'tis shining for thee, sweetly the Light has dawned upon me; once I was blind, but now I can see—the Light of the world is Jesus. ~ Bliss
Grant us, Father, hearts of worship at this time of Jesus' birth; we would see anew His glory shine throughout this sin-cursed earth. ~ D. De Haan
"Glory to God in the highest!" Luke 2:14
Heaven's lovely choir came down to worship. When? It was when heaven's most glorious King came down to save. Let's remember that, and all the specific blessings that God has given to us.
We have reason to honestly express thanks…even though I just totally burned my breakfast to a darkened crisp just now while typing this thing. Hah!
Hey, Thanksgiving didn't need to end on the day after. Even if some things are whack, what can I thank and praise God for?
1. I am grateful that all around the globe they are singing our songs out there…kinda mixed in with their reindeer and frosty songs. How cool is it to be in all these public places where you can hear lyrics about Jesus our Savior..and some of these songs have beautiful Scriptures in them. There is no other time of the year where this is allowed in happen in my part of this planet. I'm enjoying it a lot and am joining in as I walk through the crowds.2. I'm glad for a Christmas minus all the drama. But that doesn't mean I've never experienced or seen all the drama. There used to be a lot of drinking alcohol in my world and family. I feel grateful my parents were reunited minus all the drinking after spending one Christmas at the "Haven House" (a place for escaping and battered families) in a really poor part of town, and I also feel grateful the Haven House was there. I personally quit drinking in '77 and my dad hasn't had a drink in 43 years. He always says, "Glory to God" when I bring this up and he means it. I even remember one Christmas where I was visiting another family where some drinking was going on and there was a full explosion of drama if you will. How cool is that? Man, it's so awkward to be among a strange family when all hell breaks loose so to speak. One time I was asked my a believing mother to do a funeral for her husband who had passed away, but when her lost relatives arrived at the funeral they caused a whole lot of drama mainly towards my wife who wasn't saying anything at the time (cuz I was a stranger just trying to behave).
3. I thank God for the presence of Christ in my life—that's an awesome and indescribable Gift. He is the Gift of all gifts. Such forgiveness, companionship, purpose, and peace; that's so SO great to enjoy in His Spirit! And what an adventure we have!
4. I am happy that even though many things haven't gone my way in life (as perhaps in yours as well..), all things will work together for good in my life cuz I love the Lord and have been called according to his purpose (See Rom. 8:28).5. I thank the Lord for loved ones and friends around me, who really care, and for Christ's Church (that might sound real religious to you, but I mean the born again believers who are real).. they keep edifying me even when I least expect this and don't ask them to.6. I am glad that even though some people around me go through tribulation, I don't have to go through the soon coming Great Tribulation because there will actually be a Rapture of the Church (a snatching away in one sixth of a nanosecond… though I of course won't pick a date for that). The important thing for you and me is to be ready.
Are you suffering, lonely, or feeling guilty? Are you facing what seems like an insurmountable obstacle standing real strong right before you in your life? Like our country has, do you have debt that you just can't pay off all alone?
Maybe it is an addiction of some kind? Do you drink too much, but never plan to before you end up doing that? Has gambling got out of hand, and it's now thrown a hangman's rope around your neck? Do you have an incurable illness, when you used to be healthy for many decades? Do you have one or two prodigal adult or non-adult sons or daughters out there in the world partying away..that simply refuses to grow up or even face all the huge problems that they've ..over years.. created for themselves?
Have you tried everything to remove the negativity, the depression session, and that monster's ugly face (whatever you've gotten all bound by), but it just doesn't seem like this obstacle will move even one inch. Perhaps you are sick of even bringing it up in conversation now, cuz you now know that other people just can't fix it either…they don't even know where to really start in addressing it. Christ is your victory..and stands by waiting patiently for you to turn and call upon Him in faith.
7. I thank God for all the excellent godly teachers we still have among us (and I don't mean all the money grubbing Word-faith false teachers who masquerade as Christians through our media), but those who are real.. that can reach and equip us through so many cyber-avenues now. Remember when it was just through the radio or in person? Praise God we can hear em through our laptops. Love hearing them via TV through my Android tab and smart phone as well. Man, even though the Taliban is again on the rise (though we are seeing a collapse of our American culture due to many depraved American minds [literally minds that are not able to reason on behalf of their own best interests], and though our top leaders don't want us to see all this), we believers still have great reason to rejoice. It's all speeding up exponentially now, and even if you don't like these terms, we are in the last days.
To simply warn people, but not to scare you allow me to say this.. the mainstream media transmitting through the airways, and Iran.. with the Muslim Brotherhood of course having the Koran, and Russia are not your friends today. The real enemy.. the prince of the power of the air that now works in the sons of disobedience ..ain't your friend either. He comes to steal, to kill, and to destroy people. And things seem to be going so fast now.
"And unless the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake, whom He chose, He shortened the days." Mark 13:20
Man, who could survive any nuke attack and still even have breath to repent, believe and be saved?
With the bad economy, the so called fiscal cliff, and this whole global unrest ..especially in Israel.. that we keep hearing about in the news… are you ready for that? You can be ready today, even now.
Perhaps you are ready and are praying for someone who is just miserable right now. Keep on with that and expect God to use you in helping them while they are open. Visit facebook.com/shareJesus