How do you come to God in prayer? Do you see Him as a distant being who probably has little or no personal interest in you, or perhaps as a stern boss you are reluctant to approach? The opening line of the Lord’s Prayer teaches us the correct view we must have of God. He is our loving Father, but He is also the holy God of heaven, and in that, we find both the comfort and the confidence we need to pray.
Look at the news headlines any day of the week and you’ll see a world filled with terrorism, war, hatred, violence and fear. Yet sometimes the worst kind of turmoil and unrest can be found in our own lives! We say we’re saved, but we have no peace in our heart. Isaiah promised that Christ would be our Prince of Peace. Do you truly have His peace today?
The birth of Jesus would have been very different if you and I had arranged the details. We would have chosen a better place for Him to be born instead of an unsanitary stable. We might have chosen a different time in history, a different city, even different parents. But God knew exactly what He was doing when He chose such lowly circumstances, and our lives are forever changed because of it.
In the deepest part of our hearts, we all long to find endless love. Songs and books have been written about it, movies have been made about it, and yet none of us have ever known a perfect, unbroken endless love from another person. But the Bible tells us about a love that will never come to an end, not even when we die. Have you ever received this gift of everlasting love?
Exactly who was that baby born in Bethlehem? Was He really sent from heaven, or was He just an ordinary man, and what difference does it make either way? The Bible calls Him the Mighty God. If that’s true, then the consequences for not believing in Him are enormous! What decision have you made about that baby in the manger?
The stress of our daily lives and the uncertainties of the world in which we live can leave us filled with fear and despair, and even the best counselors will admit they don’t have all the answers. But Jesus, whose birth we celebrate at Christmas, was called the Wonderful Counselor. He not only cares about all our troubles, but He knows exactly what to do about them because He is the very embodiment of wisdom and knowledge. Have you talked with this Wonderful Counselor lately?
There is a tendency in human nature to take for granted the sacrifices that have been made for us during our lifetime. We often forget the blood of the patriots who gave their lives defending our freedom. We often forget the martyrs who gave their lives defending the Gospel. But are we also guilty of forgetting the greatest sacrifice ever made for us when Christ gave His life on the cross?
Today the name of God has become a common curse word. Even Christians are guilty of treating God casually. The problem is, we have lost the fear of God because we have forgotten who it is we’re dealing with. God is not the old man in the sky. He is a consuming fire who dwells in unapproachable light. If we caught even the slightest glimpse His holiness, we would fall to the ground like dead men! How would our lives be different if we saw God for who He really is?
Is the great commission a humanitarian cause to better mankind? If we think of the Great Commission as Karma, then it really is nothing more than a humanitarian cause. So what is the motivating factor that causes men and women through history to be obedient to the Great Commission?
Have you ever had a task before you that you dreaded so much, you tried to find ways to delay it or to keep from having to do it at all? Maybe it was a difficult exam, a dentist appointment, or a meeting with your boss. But none of those events come close to the crushing pressure that Jesus faced as He made His way to the cross. So then, what caused Him to pick up the pace and walk boldly towards Jerusalem, straight into the suffering that awaited Him, and what can we learn from His example?
Just a quick glance at the headlines reminds us that we live in a world filled with trouble. Terrorism, wars, toppling governments, economic instability — it’s enough to make us want to run and hide. But even though we live in a world of fear, we do not have to live in fear! The Bible reminds us that God is in complete control of all things, and that nothing happens in the world at large or in our own lives that is outside of His providence. Knowing this truth will bring us peace even in the most troubling times of life.
Imagine spending weeks searching for the perfect gift for someone you dearly love, paying an outrageous price to purchase it, carefully wrapping it in just the right paper, then giving it to them with great excitement, only to have them throw it in the trash can! Surely no one would ever respond to such extravagant kindness in such a cruel way. Yet the Bible tells us that God gave the gift of His Son to the world, and they rejected Him. John 1:11 says, “He came to his own, but his own did not receive him.” What have you done with the gift of Jesus? Are there areas of your life where He is still unwanted?