God with Us!

God with Us!

The presence of the Lord in our lives is truly amazing, and the most important reality to keep in mind at all times. When we know that God is with us, we look for Him, and to Him, above all else. As we do, we make room for Him to lead us and His perfect will to be done.

It’s not this or that we need to look for, it’s the Lord, and then all things align under His divine leadership. It’s when we feel as though we are not worthy of His presence that we find He is there to carry us through. It’s when we see our weaknesses that we become aware of the power of His strength. It’s when we think we don’t deserve His glory that we realize His glory shines regardless. It’s when we think we have nothing to give that we find He gives Himself to us, by His grace.

In His presence there is fullness of joy. In His presence no hindrance can remain. No fear, worry, depression or loneliness can stay when we know that God, Himself, is with us. It’s when we trust He is here that we draw near to Him. If God is for us and with us, who can be against us? Oh the glory of His presence, from glory to glory!

Matthew 1:23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel, which is translated ‘God with us.’ ’’

 

Host or Guest?

Host or Guest?

As we make room for the Lord in every area of our lives, He becomes a host, not a guest. We do not desire a simple visitation of the Lord, we desire His habitation. We go from temporary to permanent; from seasonal to continuous. As we celebrate our savior’s birth, we pray that He will be welcome in every household and occupy a bigger place than ever before!

When it was time for Jesus to be born, Joseph and Mary were forced to stay in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn. The lack of concern for them, even with Mary’s condition, showed their poverty and thus, Jesus, the Savior of the World, was born in a manger where no one would expect such royalty.  Even now, though He is Lord of all, He continues to look for hearts where room is made for Him. We may think our hearts are not clean or ready for the Lord; however, God looks for us to invite Him in, not because we are ready, but because without Him we can never be ready.

When we prepare for guests, we make sure the house is clean and everything is at its best. When we prepare for hosts, we turn the keys and everything we have over to them. As the host, our Lord sweeps clean our home and transforms it from a manger to a mansion. He doesn’t look at what is made for Him; He looks for those who are willingly making a place, from glory to glory! 

Luke 2:7 “And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”

 

Presents

Presents

When we are in the presence of the Lord, we enjoy His love, His peace and His rest. Often, it is in that place that He distributes gifts to us without our realizing it. Only later do we notice an increase of His gifting, in and through us, as the need arises. His presence always comes with presents from Him. As we seek Him and not the gifts, we find that He showers us with the gifts.

These gifts are spiritual gifts and come from the greatest gift, love. He wraps us with more of His glory so we can be His gift to others. We carry and distribute His love to all those we meet. As this most precious gift is given, it leads all of us to experience His presence and seek Him even more. His word, healing and peace are shared with others and multiplied in more ways than we can see.

We do not know the results of our sharing Christ’s love. God continues to increase all that is done from His heart of love. We do not follow the signs and the wonders; they follow us. His love heals, restores and comforts. His love is what brings forth all that comes from Him. As we love Him and rest in His presence, let’s receive His presents to present to the world, from glory to glory 

1 Corinthians 13: 1-3 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.  

 

Miracles?

Miracles?

Can we believe in miracles? When the impossible becomes possible; the supernatural becomes the natural; and what cannot be accomplished by men can be accomplished by God; then, we remember our Savior’s birth and gain faith for all the miraculous expectations we carry in our hearts.

When the doctor announces an incurable disease to a patient; someone gets laid off a job at a time when unemployment is high; an unforeseen divorce brings hopelessness;  or finances diminish to nothing; then, we may be caught up in despair and fear of an uncertain future. The question is: was Jesus born of a virgin? Our answer to that question stirs up faith and brings us divine answers for whatever we face.

The angel told Mary about Elizabeth’s miraculous pregnancy, so not only could she believe, but we could believe as well. We learned that miracles not only pertain to Jesus, but are available for everyone. When we celebrate the birth of Jesus, we celebrate the amazing, astounding and astonishing works of God. Yes, we do believe! Nothing is impossible with God. Our walk of faith expects divine steps at every turn, from glory to glory!

Luke 1:36-37 “Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible.”

 

Our Gift

Our Gift

Because God so loved us that He gave, we so love that we give. God’s love is what we are to give, above all. It is a gift; therefore, it’s given without any expectation of receiving anything in return. God keeps on loving us and we keep on loving, by grace, through faith.

Forgiveness, joy and peace come as we give love. It’s not our human love that we give; it’s the unconditional love of God that has been placed in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. Love is one of the nine fruits of the Spirit, and the one without which none of the others could exist. We recognize we are walking with the Lord by the way we love one another.

It’s not what is given in the natural that has value; it’s the love that is given through a gift. This gift can be a hug, a smile, a scripture or a cookie. The value placed on a gift is the same for all things given: the love that it carries. A hug from a heart of love is worth much more than an expensive gift from obligation. Truly the Lord Himself is a gift that never stops giving, from glory to glory!

1 John 4:11-12 “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.” 

 

Giving

Giving

Giving should be a response to love, not in order to be loved. As children of God, we give of our time, money and talents to the Lord in response to Him. It is because of who He is, not in order to get “blessings.” We should not “do” things “to get” something from Him in return.

It is because He first loved us that we love Him. Responding to who He is, what He has done, and abiding in Him causes us to give all we are in return. We do not give to others in response to what they have given us or for what we hope to be given in return. Giving should always be unconditional just like agape love. Appreciation can be shown from the heart without involving a gift of equal cost. A hug from a heart of love is worth much more than an expensive gift from obligation. The value of a gift is the love behind it.

When we give as we purpose in our heart, we are cheerful because giving brings us so much happiness. Our heart is at peace not because of obedience, but because love and grace abound. We look for opportunities to give because we know it is more blessed to give than to receive. It’s the heart of our Heavenly Father. We are blessed to be a blessing, from glory to glory!

2 Corinthians 9:7 “So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.”

 

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