Monthly Archives: December 2018
Jesus asked, “Do you finally believe? But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when you will be scattered, each one going his own way, leaving me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:31-33
As we celebrate the coming of the birth of Jesus, many of us are pulled in many different directions – leaving Jesus out of our preparations for Christmas. But at the heart of the Christmas celebration is the understanding that God humbled himself and came into this world as a baby – a baby with a purpose.
The religious scholars at the time of Jesus’ birth were looking for a Messiah – a King – a powerful leader that would free them from oppression. They were looking for someone to put them in power and establish them in comfort. And even though Jesus has freed all those who believe from oppression, the religious scholars were looking for someone else, not Baby Jesus.
What are we looking for? Who do we think Jesus is? Can we wrap our heads around the fact that Jesus was sent by God to conquer death and sin by dying a physical death on the Cross and rising from the dead in victory to be with God?
Are we looking for a Jesus whose purpose is to heal, comfort and defend us? One who takes us out of our troubles? One who is merely a sounding board for our wants and desires?
Remember who Jesus is – not who we might want Him to be.
Jesus came to save us from sin and death, to forge a pathway for us to eternal life with Him in Heaven and to send the Holy Spirit to help us navigate in this world. He shows us what love is by laying His life down to save us from certain death.
He did not come so that we could be comfortable or satisfied or free from troubles. Remember His words, “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
If all we know is comfort and satisfaction, we have no need for a Savior. It is through troubles that we gain an understanding of grace. We learn about obedience and self-control. We gain empathy and wisdom. We gain faith and are filled with hope.
So remember, who Jesus is. Our understanding starts with BELIEVING that He is who He says that He is. Remember that trials and tribulations are part of our journey of understanding. With this understanding, we experience His peace – the peace that surpasses all understanding!
I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one can come to the Father except through me. John 14:5 NLT
Be Still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10
In our journey walking with God during our short stay on this earth, He is teaching us critical lessons for eternal living – lessons dealing with Loving Him, Loving others, pride, self-sufficiency, obedience, etc.
These lessons are critical and for many of us, are cyclical in nature. Not all of us struggle with the same lesson; some “get it” on the first encounter with a particular lesson while others are “stuck” for years dealing with the same critical instruction. Regardless of whether we are in a season of being “stuck” or are moving from one lesson to the next, God is using each moment of every day to assist us in our journey closer to Him.
Each day, we can be sharpened. Each day we can learn something new or experience a deepening of an understanding that we have known for quite sometime. Sometimes, we are called in obedience to help someone else in their journey.
When we become followers of Jesus Christ, we become saints – chosen by God – set free by His Son and filled with His Spirit to bring Him glory today and for all eternity. We must therefore, seek Him in the moment we are in to determine what we are to be doing. Just as God uses others to sharpen us, we are also called at times to sharpen others.
As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. Proverbs 27:17
To be called to sharpen another believer is a great responsibility. When we know we are being called to be a sharpening tool, we must seek the help of the Holy Spirit in the process of the sharpening – remembering that God can use us in any situation. Our job is to “Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” Ephesians 6:18
If you are being used by God in someone else’s journey, make sure that you are walking in step with the Lord and seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Remember, eternal living starts today.