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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Advent Week 1- LIGHT

As a part of my Advent devotionals this year, I feel God calling me to write often about what He's teaching me this season. I'm guessing it's going to be a great way to keep me focused on Jesus in the midst of the Christmas "craziness". So, here goes...

LIGHT

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men." (John 1:1-4 ESV)

Jesus has always been. He existed in eternity with God. Christmas marks his birth on earth as the Son of Man but Jesus, the Son of God, has always existed. Everything God has created, all the beauty that surrounds us on a daily basis, was made through Jesus. Also, all life is in Jesus and that life is LIGHT.

"The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God..." (John 1:9-12 ESV)

When Jesus was born to Mary and Joseph Christmas Eve in that manger, he came to bring LIGHT to the whole world. But, most people in his time and ours do not know him or recognize him as the LIGHT. But, those who do receive him as the LIGHT that "shines in the darkness" (John 1:5), are given the right to become children of God.

My prayer this week is that as I light my Christmas candles and turn on my Christmas lights; I would be reminded of Jesus, the Light of World, who came for me and for the whole world to overcome darkness.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Surrender

One of my favorite old hymns is "Take My Life and Let It Be". The writer, Frances Havergal wrote most of the song in 1874 but up until 1878 the 4th stanza had not been written. History tells us that, "In 1878, four years after writing the hymn, Miss Havergal wrote a friend, 'The Lord has shown me another little step, and, of course, I have taken it with extreme delight. 'Take my silver and my gold' now means shipping off all my ornaments to the Church Missionary House, including a jewel cabinet that is really fit for a countess, where all will be accepted and disposed of for me...Nearly fifty articles are being packed up. I don't think I ever packed a box with such pleasure.'"

Source: www.christianitytoday.com

After that little act of huge faith she penned these words:

Take my silver and my gold;
Not a mite would I withhold;
Take my intellect, and use
Every power as Thou shalt choose,
Every power as Thou shalt choose.

Source: http://www.hymnal.net/hymn.php/h/445#ixzz2BNnpjXnC

Huh?! This minor historical tidbit has convicted me in a major way. What am I withholding from the Lord? What am I not surrendering so that He can have all of me? What are you withholding from Him? For me, I definitely withhold my time. Unfortunately, I view my time as my own, especially my "Me Time". You know those precious nap times, bedtimes and times where Myla is in school for a few hours. How do I spend my time? My flesh wants to spend my time for me! I want to read and shop and watch my shows and surf the Internet. But, have I asked God what He wants me to do with that time? The short answer is, "No." Why you may ask? Honestly? Because I don't want to surrender my time to Him so He can tell me what to do with it. But, I do know that the few moments I do surrender my time to Him, He blesses that time extravagantly. Why wouldn't I surrender it all?

Today the Lord led me to Romans 12:1, "I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship." (Romans 12:1 ESV)

How am I accepting Paul's appeal? My prayer today is that I will wake daily offering my body (and my time) to God as a living sacrifice. What are you withholding from your Lord today?