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Archive for December, 2016

Christmas comes and with it the search for the perfect gift for those I love. What would bless them, what would actually be helpful and not just something to cross off my list? How to choose a gift?

The Word tells us in James 1:17 that: “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

And yet a few verses before, in James 1:2-4 he encourages us to: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

Could it be that the difficulties we are facing, have faced, and will continue to face, are actually gifts to us?

Could it be that the brokenness of others and our own weaknesses might actually somehow, Romans 8:28, work together for “great good” in our lives?

Could it be true that these daily struggles we face while living on this planet are actually purposeful, as Paul strengthens us with his example: “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” 2 Corinthians 4:17

As I read this devotional today “Becoming Myself by Stasi Eldredge, I am again convinced of my Father’s hand in my life for very, very great good.

“The story of my life and the struggles I have lived with—make that “live with”—have helped to shape me into the woman I am today and the woman I am becoming. My scars, my struggles, my failures, my joys, my private lonely agonies have been forging my soul into something beautiful. Eternal. Good. Yours have, too. Now, we can fight that process—or we can yield to it. My dear mother had her rough edges; you have yours; I have mine. We can choose to let suffering soften us or harden us. We can choose whether we will allow it to make us more compassionate or let our hearts become jealous of others. We can choose whether we will love Jesus in it or resent him for it. Only one set of choices will make us more beautiful. The pain we experience, the sorrow and the agony, serve a purpose. God is working all things together for our good. He is etching a masterpiece of stunning design. The beauty being forged in us through the transforming work of suffering is one that will leave us breathless, stunned, and forever thankful. And the crowning glory will be that because of the pain we have endured, we have come to know Jesus in a way that causes us to treasure the trial as one of God’s greatest gifts to us. Amazing.”

Father, help us to believe in something greater than what we can see and to set out hope on more that what we think would please and bless us. Help us turn to You, so that we may sing as David did: ”You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand”. Psalm 16:11

By His grace may we all be open to the gift of truly finding our joy in His presence. There is nothing higher.

Merry Christmas

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Remember

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted…”Psalm 34:18

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.”   Philippians 4:4,5

 I read a devotion by John Eldredge this morning entitled “Forgetfulness is no small problem”.

I related with him as he grieved over the fact that many mornings he wakes forgetting, as if a spiritual amnesia had robbed him, robbed him of the joy, of the confidence, of the power of knowing that the Lord was near. Oh, how else are we to be steadfast in this world in which we as are continually bombard than to remeber that Jesus is near?

”Do this in remembrance of Me.’  Luke 22:19 

Does Jesus speak this so much as a command, as a plea, or perhaps as a warning? It is as if He saw us then and calls to us now: “You are going to forget Me beloved, I saw it then. But remember Me, and do this in remembrance of me. Do all these things that I have done for you and do them in the community of believers, of your fellow forgetful believers.

You will all forget, all of you, so do this serving and loving and washing of the feet, this passing of the bread and wine, so that you will remember Me. So that you will remember My sacrifice for you, My devotion to You, My love for you.” 

This Christmas dear ones, let us help each other remember the bread and the wine, the body and  blood of Jesus, this sacrifice and irrefutable assurance of His great love and devotion to us. Let us remind each other that indeed “Emmanuel, God is with us”.  Isaiah 7:14 

“God rest ye merry gentlemen let nothing you dismay, remember…”

Merry Christmas friends,

Beverly

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