Monthly Archives: December 2015

Christmas Letter 2016

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Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

What would it be like to “never walk in darkness”? That would mean we could see everything clearly and never stumble in our lives. If you turn on a lamp there is nothing darkness can do to stop that light from shining. It shines IN the darkness and THROUGH the darkness. Darkness cannot overcome the light. On the other hand, there is only one thing can overcome the darkness and that is light. If you are in a dark room and turn on a lamp, you have just quenched the darkness. Light overcomes the darkness.

I think one of my favorite parts of Christmas is seeing all the beautiful lights hung on the trees and houses. Plug it in and turn it on, wow. Why is that? How can light touch our emotions like that? There is something that happens in our hearts when light shines out of darkness. That got me thinking. The Bible says that our hearts have darkness in them. Our natural inclination is to be selfish and want our own way. We are all sinners who need some light to quench our darkness. We need spiritual light to shine in the darkness of our hearts. We need it, so how do we get it? God took care of that. That’s what Christmas is all about.

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. (2 Cor. 4:6)

Well, “come on Paul”, you might say. “How can Christmas be about light in our hearts?” It is! Because Christmas is Jesus’ birthday. And when Jesus was born, Light came into the world, Light shined out of the darkness, Light overcame the darkness. I think God made Christmas lights that way. Rather, He made US that way. When the lights turn on we feel something that is not of this world, we feel something that words can’t express. That’s Jesus speaking to us. That’s Jesus getting our attention. What is He saying? “Follow Me. I know the way out of the darkness. I know the way to heal your pain. I know the way to set you free. Don’t look back, don’t go back to the darkness, just Follow Me. I know the way to forgiveness, the way to peace, the way to heaven.” After all, if Jesus knew the way from Heaven down to a manger then He certainly knows how to get back home. That’s what I mean by light. He knows the way back home! He can get YOU back home.

Have you ever been up in the mountains where everything is dark and misty? How did you get to your destination? One answer. Headlights. Bright lights. They showed the way. Without the lights you could never get home. Without Jesus, the Light of the World, you will never get through the darkness and never find your way back home to heaven.

Don’t believe me? No problem, no hurt feelings. Then just listen to what Jesus Himself said about such things:

Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.

Got it? Jesus is the Way. Jesus was born because we needed some light to shine into our darkness. If you follow Jesus you will find your way and you will leave the darkness in your rear view mirror.

In Him was life, and the life was the light of men…That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world (John 1:4, 9)

Count Your Blessing

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Oh, give thanks to the LORD!
Call upon His name;
Make known His deeds among the peoples!
2 Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him;
Talk of all His wondrous works!
3 Glory in His holy name;
Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the LORD! (Psalm 105:1-3)

Are you thankful to God…I mean every day? Not just when things are going well or that there are no difficulties in your life…but every day.

You might be thinking, “How can I be thankful to God every day when there are some days I am sick or there is a struggle in my family or I have financial problems or there is so much chaos around the world?”

Let’s start with this then….everyday “Get down on your knees and thank God you’re still on your feet.”

Notice that the writer of Psalm 105 was David. He did not have an easy life. He wasn’t wealthy, he had a lot of enemies he was always running from, he was a shepherd – one of the lowliest positions there was. Often times he was lonely and hurting. But David didn’t sit around and complain…

He counted his blessing. I didn’t say blessings, I said blessing. You see, if you have God in your life, that is the only blessing you will ever need. God was enough for David. God was bigger than David’s pain, bigger than his problems, bigger than his loneliness. David didn’t have much money, he didn’t have fame, he didn’t have an easy life…but to David God was bigger than all of that. God was everything he needed.

“We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.” ~ Frederick Keonig

What do YOU have? Do you have God? Then you have everything. Because when we die we can’t take anything with us – our money, our car, our job, our house…that will all be left behind. Those are temporary blessings. The one blessing that is eternal is God Himself.

So, David says, “call upon His name.” Everyday, no matter what, pray to Him and thank Him. Let everyone around you know that the reason you can be so calm and joyful in every circumstance is because God is so good to you. Sing to Him. Talk about all the good things He has done in your life. Think about Him. Everyday, count your blessing. God will never leave you. Others might. God will never hurt you. Others might. He is always there, ready to answer your prayer, ready to comfort you, ready to break into your day.

Are you waiting to be happy someday when you get the perfect job or perfect wife or husband or perfect car or perfect house or have perfect health? You will never be happy. God is the only One who can satisfy, the only One who can fill that hole in your heart. God is the only One we can constantly thank no matter what because He created us and He loves us unconditionally.

Seeking God, living for God, and Thanking God – that is true happiness.

Count your blessing!