Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Just One Gift

About a month ago my husband and I received a sheet of paper from our two sons that included their “Christmas Wish List” of about four different video games for each. I found this very helpful considering there’s a montage of games to choose from. Then about a week ago my youngest told us, “Brother and I talked and we agreed that you and daddy can get just one gift for both of us.” He proceeded to tell us the name of the one Wii game they both wanted. Then my other son said, “Yeah, so that way you’ll have more money to get other people presents.”

I confess that I was a proud mom of my two thoughtful children. However, my "Aww" soon became "Oh, oh." You see, we had already done our Christmas shopping for them and guess what? The one gift they wanted was NOT one of them! Thank God for extended family. Uncle Chris is coming through with their “just one gift” request.

This made me stop and think. Would I be content and satisfied with just one gift? If so, what would that one gift be? I don’t know about you, but I can think of at least three to four things that I’d like to have sitting under my tree or in my stocking. However, if I don’t get any of them, for this one gift I am most thankful for: JESUS.

Isaiah 9:6 (NIV) says, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

More than anything that can be bought, wrapped or bagged, I have received the best gift ever, which is my salvation in and through Christ. The peace, joy, love and strength He brings cannot be measured in dollars and cents. It is eternal and cannot be taken away. If you have received this gift, too, then REJOICE! Jesus is a gift that we can unwrap not only at Christmas, but all year long as we discover more of Him day by day.

Merry Christmas my friends!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Wisdom from the Wilderness - Part 3

As we wrap up this series, let's review. First, we learned that we can be "led" into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit who bring us here for a reason (of testing) and for a season (in God's timing and our obedience). We should not resist the testing but rather submit to it. God is always in the business of growing us up. Secondly, like Jesus, we are to seriously seek God, hear His voice and stand on His Word through every test. Hearing the Father speak to us is the most important thing to learn in the wilderness. Next, let's see what happened after Jesus passed the testing.

Matthew 4:11 (NKJV) Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.

If you've been battling the enemy and feel exhausted spiritually, physically or emotionally, be encouraged that this shall pass. After Jesus stood on God's Word and the enemy knew that He would not be moved, He left Him. Keep standing on God's Word. Speak it out in faith. Whenever you overcome a spiritual battle, there comes a time of restoration. Even Jesus needed to be ministered to by the angels.

I remind you today that God will RESTORE you. His angels are ready to minister to you so that you will be replenished inside and out. Once Jesus was renewed we see that He left the wilderness "in the power of the Spirit."

Luke 4:14-19 "Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. He taught in their synagogues, and everyone praised him. He went to Nazareth...on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue...And he stood up to read.."The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."

Once restored, Jesus moved on from the wilderness in the anointing of God to bring God's life changing truth to the poor, prisoners, blind and oppressed. It was time for the next level of ministry.

Prayer: Lord restore me from the battle. Fill me with new vigor and compassion to bring Your good news to those around and may Your anointing flow in my life greater than ever before so others may experience You. I'm ready for the next level Lord!