The next time you see a toddler throwing a tantrum because he doesn’t want to obey his parents, just remember that we all come into the world demanding our own way. None of us really want to submit to anyone else. We sometimes even try to get God to agree to our plans rather than surrendering to His plans. But when we can pray “Your will be done” and truly mean it, we will begin to discover God’s very best for our life.
We’ve all heard the phrase “Your kingdom come” since we were little kids, and it might mean nothing more to us than just words in a prayer. But it is much more than words. It is a life to be lived. How do people see and experience God’s Kingdom? They do so through us. When we live each day surrendered to the rule and reign of God as our King, others will be touched by His truth and love, and the kingdom will continue to expand.
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.
Life is short and the world is filled with trouble as a result of man’s sin, and we all feel the impact of that. Is there somewhere we can turn to find true, lasting love and satisfaction that can actually make us rejoice and be glad regardless of what is going on around us? The world promises satisfaction, but it never lasts. Only the Bible has the answer. Have you found it yet?
The Bible tells us repeatedly that our lives are very short, and it urges us to live out our brief days wisely. In view of that reality, the looming question is, what are we doing to guarantee that our time on this earth will matter for all eternity? We begin this new year by looking at the extraordinary wisdom found in Psalm 90, and we learn how to count our days so that we can make sure our days will count.
Joseph and Mary would never have planned for their lives to turn out the way they did. They wouldn’t have chosen all the hardship, criticism and inconvenience that the birth of this Baby brought into their lives. Yet they willingly accepted God’s plan because they surrendered their future to Him. Becoming a follower of Christ means that your future is not your own. Are you willing to accept whatever that may bring for His glory?
Does the birth of Jesus actually make any difference in our lives today, right here and now in our present circumstances? Yes, it does! When Jesus came into the world, He was “God with us”, and because God is with us, every moment of our lives is radically different. Because of His abiding presence, we can face the confusing, troubling situations of life without fear, knowing that He will never leave us or forsake us.
Matthew begins his gospel by listing the genealogy of Jesus, and he includes people in that list who did some very evil things. Why would Matthew want to highlight the dirt instead of sweeping it under the rug? Because he wanted us to know that the forgiveness Christ came to bring is available to everyone, regardless of their past. Have you ever brought your past to Jesus, or are you still carrying it all by yourself?
We use the word “good” to describe all kinds of things from food, to events, even the weather. It has become such an overused and common word that when the Bible describes God as being good, it doesn’t really impact us. Yet if we stop to truly consider all the ways God’s goodness has transformed our lives, we will be overwhelmed with thankfulness for who He is and for all He has done for us!
After winning such a stunning victory over their enemies, the people were once again faced with the realities of life. Taxes were raised, new enemies came along, and there were more battles to be fought. The peace they enjoyed was only temporary. All this was a reminder that the peace man works for doesn’t last. True lasting people can only be found in Jesus Christ. Have you ever brought your troubled heart to Christ to find peace?
We humans are very good at forgetting things, and the more time that passes, the easier it is for old memories to fade away. This is why God told His people constantly to stop and remember what He had done for them, and to pass those memories on to future generations. When is the last time you intentionally stopped to remember and celebrate something good God had done for you or your family? Why not do it today?
On the very day that Haman had planned the destruction of the Jews, the tables were turned and the Jews gained victory over their enemies. In much the same way, Satan plotted and planned the destruction of the Son of God, and all hell celebrated when He hung dying on the cross. But on that very day, the tables were turned and Christ triumphed over His enemies, bringing salvation to all who believe in Him.