December 5, 2009

Just for Today......

In our pop culture of self help, there have been many books written on the topic of building the empire of "ME", "Looking out for #1", etc. They all teach how to manipulate others by looking a person in the eye, mirroring their body language, speaking the persons name repeatedly and using empathetic language. The absurd thing is, this works because it is what we should be doing with each other. This is one of the greatest deceptions used to prey on the intrinsic goodness and hope within people. All for what .....more stuff? How did we get this calloused?

I thank God for his truth that shines light on worldly wisdom. I think it is no surprise that all this mirrors the desire of God. He desires to hear us call His name. He desires us to be able to stand face to face with his presence, He desires us to mirror His ways and to receive and show empathy to everyone's situations. Isn't it absurd that we have a hard time doing that?

I pray that we call His name at the start of each day, stand in his presence and ask for the way, mirror His love to all that we see and share of the mercy and grace we receive.

With all my heart to each of you...through Christ our Lord

Candace

Presents Or Presence?

READ: 1 John 2:24-29
In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. —Psalm 16:11

Oswald Chambers once wrote: “It is not God’s promises we need, it is [God] Himself.”

At Christmastime we often say, “God’s presence is more important than presents.” But the amount of time and effort we spend on shopping for gifts may indicate otherwise.
In certain parts of the world, people give gifts on December 6. By doing so, they have the rest of the month to focus on Jesus and the wonder of His birth, God’s perfect gift to us.

When we say we want God’s presence more than presents from others, perhaps we’re being truthful. But how many of us can honestly say that we want God’s presence more than His presents?

Often we want gifts from God more than we want God Himself. We want health, wealth, knowledge, a better job, a better place to live. God may indeed want to give us these things, but we can’t have them apart from Him. As David said, “In Your presence is fullness of joy” (Ps. 16:11). Presents may make us happy for a time; earthly gifts from God may make us happy temporarily, but fullness of joy comes only when we remain in a right relationship with God.
So, what would Christmas be like if we truly celebrated God’s presence? — Julie Ackerman Link

Lord, we want to remember You and Your coming in special ways this Christmas. Give us creativity and thoughtfulness in our planning. Help us to focus on Your presence and not on what we hope to give or receive.
God’s presence with us is one of His greatest presents to us.