Today I will begin to share some of the writing I have been doing over at The Glorious Table. I invite you all to join this website which is composed of a group of gifted women writers who share the ways God works in their lives. There is also a Facebook page dedicated to The Glorious Table.
WHY DO WE FEAR DEATH WHEN HEAVEN AWAITS?
Why do we cling to this life as though it’s all there is? Why do we despair when we hear of a loved one diagnosed with a terminal illness? Why are we afraid of death when our greatest treasure lies on the other side?W
Over the past three years, God has chipped away at my trepidations about death. He has made heaven so real through the testimonies of friends in the small group I co-lead with my husband.
At the beginning of our first year, we asked for introductions. I was curious to hear from the radiant woman across from me. What was her story?
When it was her turn, she smiled brightly and said, “Hi, my name is Bev, and I’m a short-timer.” Her words hung in the air in silence. Then I spoke.
Today I came across a music video by vocal artist Mark Masri. The title of the song is Joseph’s Song. This precious song is a tender reflection of what it must have been like to be the earthly father to Jesus.
This song has become one of my favorite Christmas songs.
God chose Joseph ahead of time to become Jesus’ earthly father. The writer of Joseph’s Song explores the thoughts and questions Joseph must have held soon after baby Jesus was born.
What was it like for Joseph? As you listen to this song try to enter into Joseph’s thoughts. Feel the conflicting emotions as he held his newborn babe close to his heart . Surely he remembered what the angel told him about this child.
As Joseph reverently studies the face of baby Jesus he is suddenly struck by the purity within the child; It is then he realizes as he looks into the face of Jesus he looks into the face of God.
Take a moment to reflect on Joseph’s plight; feel his angst. Did he wonder what the future held? How could a simple carpenter be a father to the son of God?
Surely Joseph held a burning desire to protect him, yet he could not protect Jesus from what Jesus had already chosen to do.
This babe was born with a purpose. He paid the price for our sin.
Joseph, strong and loving, knew that the babe he held in his arms had come to earth to become his savior too.
Christmas is the day we celebrate Jesus Birthday. Actually, Jesus has always been alive, in Heaven with Father God. The birthday we celebrate is his birthday on Earth. Jesus came down from Heaven to be born in a humble, lowly, stinking stable. He never lived a life of comfort or luxury.
He was born to die. The payment for sin is death. Only a sinless Savior could take our place to pay that price.
Jesus gave His sinless spotless self to redeem you and me. Tell me, what more could He give? Jesus paid that price because he could not imagine Heaven without you or without me. Oh, how He loves you, Oh how He loves me, Oh how He loves you and me.
To read more on Jesus Purpose for coming to Earth as a baby read: John 3:16, Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23 and Romans 10:9, 10, 13
I hope you enjoy Joseph’s song, May the music and the message grant you pause. May you be blessed this Christmas as you remember the reason for the season.
Do you have a Secret Place; a place you go when the world get’s you down? Do you have a quiet place where you can restore your soul?
Anyone living here on planet earth knows there is no escape from stress. Each of us must take responsibility for and be in charge of our own lives. One of the most important decision’s you will make has to do with taking care of you. We make choices every second of every day. What do you choose? Do you choose to absorb the stress around you and find yourself battle weary? I have done that for year’s and found that there is no peace in absorbing the stress. Instead I go to my secret place and give my stressful life situations to someone who can deal with it .. someone greater than me.
A secret place for me is not a room, it’s not really a place anywhere physically. My secret place is found in a relationship. I make that relationship my priority when I spend time alone with God in prayer, meditation and in His word. I am a living testimony to the fact of what God’s Word says, “God is the Strength of my Life.” It is God who gives me strength to face each day.
I have heard it said that the enemy uses distractions as his number one attack on Americans. I believe it to be very true. If the enemy can keep our focus off of God and onto busyness, problems, challenges etc. He can keep our lives in an uproar.
Taking time with God is vital to our Spiritual Life and ultimately to our success in Life.
Choose This Day Whom You Will Serve
One of the most moving passages of scripture is found in the book of Joshua as he gives his parting words to the Hebrew people at the end of his life.
Joshua led the people with integrity after Moses’ death. Now, as Joshua is preparing to leave this earth for Heaven’s Glory, he admonishes the people of God to once again decide who they will follow and who they will serve. It is a choice … It is always a choice.
His words: “Now, therefore revere the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness; put away the gods that your ancestors served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. Now if you are unwilling to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served in the region beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are now living; but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua lays it on the line. You cannot serve two masters and so you must choose.
We must each find our Secret Place to come aside from the distractions of this world. We cannot serve God if we ignore Him.
We need to spend time in His word soaking in the precious instructions and promises He imparts to us. His word is living … not like any other book you have ever known. It gives LIFE … when you spend time in it and pray for the Holy Spirit to speak, you will find life-giving words to encourage, strengthen, give direction and teach you everything you need to know to live life abundantly.
Prayer is how we talk to our Father. Jesus has set an outline for us in the Lord’s Prayer.
Jesus gives us a pattern for prayer. The pattern is just that .. a pattern not meant to be repeated as a prayer in and of itself. At the beginning of this prayer it is clearly stated that the following prayer is to be used in this way: Pray, then, in this way. In the book of Luke, we learn that the disciples did not ask Jesus to teach them a prayer but they asked Him to teach them how to pray. We each must examine and take time with this pattern prayer to learn the richness of relationship in prayer.
Matthew 6:9-13 New International Version (NIV)
This, then, is how you should pray:
‘Our Father in heaven hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one.’
May God bless you as you carve out your own Secret Place to commune with God and to grow in the Riches of His wisdom.