for the Lord
|I won’t go so far as to
suggest that Scrooge was right on target (as in
"bah, humbug"), but you’ll have to admit that
the distractions of these "happy holidays" may be
doing us more harm than good. In effect, our year-end frenzy
doubles the noise and pressure of an ordinary month.
Start with the normal din of television, cell-phone
chatter, traffic, crowds. Multiply the number of cars
honking at each other in the snowy streets. Add blaring
music, flashing lights, bells, people growling to themselves
and colliding with their shopping carts, children screaming,
a thousand Santa Clauses ho-ho-ho-ing. Here and there one
sees the helpless baby in a cow-stall, a sentimental
backward glance toward a calmer past. The scene is nice,
cute, maybe even touching—but how can it mean anything
more to a frantic shopper?
So it’s getting harder and harder to remember
that "Jesus is the Reason for the Season."
Fortunately, in the midst of these distractions you and I
can still find time to celebrate the real meaning of
Christmas: that the Child in the manger was on a mission to
rescue humanity, and that this mission was a triumph, summed
up in the gift of soteria to all His people.
This is God’s Christmas present to us. The full sense
of soteria is worked out in several
other Greek and Hebrew expressions, used 388 times in
Scripture, and translated by 23 English words including
salvation, deliverance, health, help, well-being, safety,
victory, defense, protection, rescue, and
that's necessary to "unwrap" it
The Gift is also summed up by the Hebrew word shalom--usually
"peace" in English, but much more than the absence
of strife. The full sense is completeness, wholeness,
well-being, health, soundness, prosperity—everything
covered by Jesus’ prayer that the will of God may be done
on earth as it’s done in heaven.
You’ll never get a better Christmas present than this,
dear one! And all that’s necessary to "unwrap"
it is to turn off the TV, stop texting our friends for a
little while, set aside whatever we’re busy, busy, busy
with, and make a quality decision to turn to the Lord of the
Universe in prayer, praise, and thanksgiving.
blessings will be yours
The process is simple, and it always works. The
doors of heaven are unlocked by just two commandments
presented in 1 John 3:21-24: have faith; have love. Any
Christian can do it at any time, by getting quiet, trusting
God, and following His directions.
So my prayer for you at year’s end is that heaven’s shalom
and soteria will surround you and bless you
all during 2013 and ever afterwards. These blessings will be
yours in abundance if you’ll just take time away from the
world’s pointless clamor and "wait for the Lord"
to "renew [your] strength and power" (Isaiah
Just put down whatever
you’re struggling with, take a deep breath, submit to the
Holy Spirit, and let the love of God flow through you—and
expect that love to transform everything it touches.
forget that . . .
God should be our
resort, not our last resort. Start taking time
right now to build up the faith you need to
receive His healing.
God is ready to
heal us in every
way--spiritually, physically, emotionally, and
God heals all
types of disease, pain, sorrow, and
infirmity. Nothing is too hard for Him.
us to be healed, to be "whole"
persons enjoying abundant life.
God expects us to
with Him in getting healed--through medicine,
diet, exercise, and straight thinking. Everything
that promotes healing is a gift from Him.
Healing Briefs here