December 31, 2017
As we approach the New Year there is often excitement and anxiety. We are excited about new beginnings and new experiences and yet we may be afraid of the unknown challenges that confront us. I believe on this last weekend of 2017 we can discover insights through the promised Presence of our Lord and Savior.
1 God is With Us
Sometimes in the face of challenges it seems there are not adequate words to say. We often want to do or say something that will make the situation better and the heartache go away, but we can’t. When the pain is ours, though, we know that comfort comes from another’s presence. We know how empty and annoying words can be. We just want someone to be with us in our pain. Answers, opinions, and words intended to bring comfort can be as helpful as warm, silent presence. It is no wonder, then, that the greatest gift God gives is His Presence. His name is Immanuel which means God with us. His Divine presence means that, no matter who is against us, every resource of Heaven is at our disposal. He gives us His tender love, and nothing can separate us from that love. (Romans 8: 35-39)
How has someone’s presence in your life encouraged you?
How has God’s presence in your life blessed you?
2 All Things Are possible
No one could blame Mary the teenage virgin for having a question or two about her situation. The angel’s visit had been more than a bit of a surprise and his announcement more than a little unbelievable. How could I have a child, she wondered, when I have not been with a man? Her question reflected her confidence that God would perform a miracle. Mary did not ask for a sign. Her questions were how not if God was going to perform this miraculous work. The angel explained that the Holy Spirit will come upon you and also told her that her relative Elizabeth was with child even in her old age. “For nothing is impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37) Mary replied, “May it be to me as you have said.” (v38) God’s purposes for us far exceed our human abilities to accomplish them. Our efforts cannot succeed apart from Him, and that is exactly how God intends it to be. When He reveals His plans, He is also promising to fulfill them. Trust him and remember, with God, nothing is impossible!
Do you believe in a miracle working God?
How has His grace blessed your life?
3 Peace On Earth
Isaiah proclaimed Jesus to be the Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6) Israel hoped for, longed for, waited for a Messiah who would prove victorious over their military oppressors. Israel anticipated a Messiah who would bring peace on earth. God’s Messiah, Jesus His Son, would prove victorious over a greater enemy: sin. God’s Messiah would also bring a much greater peace: reconciliation between God and man. Christ can indeed bring peace to any situation. The most difficult circumstance, the most ruthless enemy, the deepest pain, none of these is beyond Christ’s reach. He and He alone can calm your heart and mind. No one brings peace like Jesus!