Only 24 days until Christmas. Lots to do and very little time. But there is always time to stop for a minute and get a little perspective about what God wants from us. Don't run so fast that you forget to make a necessary turn on the way to yours and God's goals!
Find new excitement
Psalm 130:5 – I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope.
Is there anything more delightful than the sparkle of anticipation in the eyes of a small child? Think back. You had those feelings of excitement at one time…on hearing the far-off melody of the ice cream truck on a hot summer day, on smelling the cookies baking in the oven, on seeing city streets aglow with the lights of Christmas. What stirs up anticipation in your life today? The time when the coronavirus will be gone; the time when Congress will work together for the benefit of all Americans; the hour when you will see a relative who’s been away a long time? What if you were preparing to meet the King?
How do you approach your quiet times? “Well, it’s that time of the morning, so I’ll pour myself a cup of coffee and read my Bible for a little bit, then maybe I’ll pray a minute, but then I’ve got things to do?” Have you lost your awareness that you are about to spend time with the words given to you from the Creator of the Universe? Maybe it has slipped your mind that, as you pray, you are present in the very throne room of God who says to you, “Come, my child. Stay a while with me.” Is time with Him more of a priority than running those errands or mopping the kitchen floor? A.W. Tozer said, “Spending time with God puts everything else in perspective.” So get excited!
Most Holy God and my Father, forgive me for taking for granted my relationship with You. Forgive me for trying to do things for You within my own power, when I know full well that my power source is with You. It is from You that I gain my strength, and apart from You I can do nothing. Help me still the noises around me and to place my focus on You. Let me meditate on Your promises all day long. I long for the return of Your Son, Jesus. Help me by Your Holy Spirit to have that same longing for the time I spend with You each day. I thank You for loving me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
True Happiness - Day 3
You seek a happy life in a land of the dying: it is not there. How could a life be happy where life is missing? Our life, our true Life, descended into the world, took our death upon his back and destroyed it with the superabundance of his life. –St. Augustine of Hippo
Advent is fundamentally a journey of love. In this sense, it is a season of heightened attentiveness, reminding us of what is true in every time and every place. It is the love of God that draws near in Christ, it is the Spirit of God that nourishes and sustains us along our way, and it is perfect union with God the Father that remains the aim and destination of our lives. And while we know this to be true in the core of our being, so often life is lived shortsighted and easily distracted, pulled to one side or the other by lesser loves that promise fulfillment, yet leave us hollow and disfigured.
In order to encounter the love of God this Advent season, you must be willing to turn away from the desires that leave you spiritually blind and numb. As Revelation reminds us, we live in a world, like Babylon of old, drunk on sexual desire, power, and luxury. The solution? “Come out of her, my people, so that you do not take part in her sins, and so that you do not share in her plagues” (Rev. 18:4).
True happiness is not found in absolute freedom but in a life aligned with the virtues and values of the kingdom of God. The ways of the Lord are never for your harm but are for your healing. You are set free to receive a love that makes you truly human, and in turn a love that so transforms your heart and mind that you are sent, turned outwards to give your life away as a gift of love for the life of the world. This is the true spirit of Advent, and where happiness is always to be found.
Lifting our elections up to the Lord helps all of us keep the focus on the most important topics as well as softens our hearts to love everyone, even those with whom we may disagree. Believing differently shouldn't stop us from sharing God's love and His Word with others.
“By yourself you're unprotected. With a friend you can face the worst. Can you round up a third? A three-stranded rope isn't easily snapped.”
Ecclesiastes 4:12 (MSG)
“Educate and inform the whole mass of the people... They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.”
– Thomas Jefferson