Christmas Wonder

 

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Christmas Wonder

 — by Randy Kilgore
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Remember His marvelous works which He has done. —1 Chronicles 16:12
Bible in a Year:
Micah 6-7; Revelation 13

After my first semester in seminary, my family was given airline tickets to fly home for Christmas. The night before our flight, we realized we had less than $20 for the trip. Parking, transportation, and other incidentals were certain to cost more than $20. Heartsick, we resolved to pray about it. Though our children were small (6 and 2), we included them in the prayer time.

As we were praying, we heard footsteps in the hallway of the apartment building, and then “whisk”—the sound of an envelope sliding under the door. Inside the envelope was an anonymous gift of $50.

The wonder reflected on our 6-year-old daughter’s face matched the wonder in our own hearts. Here was a mighty God writing His name on a little girl’s heart by hearing and answering our prayer in the same instant. And so we, like the psalmist David, could “talk of all His wondrous works!” (1 Chron. 16:9).

So it was that first Christmas night, when a mighty, all-knowing, all-powerful God wrote His name on the heart of humanity, stunning us with the generosity of forgiveness and the joy of unconditional love. The birth of Christ is the answer to our most fervent prayers for love and forgiveness. Can you feel the wonder?

Lord, restore to me the wonder of Christmas,
felt most keenly when I first met Jesus;
for I long to tell the story with all the
joy it brought me that day.
A wonder-filled life is ours when we know the Christ of Christmas.
From: Our Daily Bread

The Drawing of the Father

No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him . .  —John 6:44

When God begins to draw me to Himself, the problem of my will comes in immediately. Will I react positively to the truth that God has revealed? Will I come to Him? To discuss or deliberate over spiritual matters when God calls is inappropriate and disrespectful to Him. When God speaks, never discuss it with anyone as if to decide what your response may be (see Galatians 1:15-16). Belief is not the result of an intellectual act, but the result of an act of my will whereby I deliberately commit myself. But will I commit, placing myself completely and absolutely on God, and be willing to act solely on what He says? If I will, I will find that I am grounded on reality as certain as God’s throne.In preaching the gospel, always focus on the matter of the will. Belief must come from the will to believe. There must be a surrender of the will, not a surrender to a persuasive or powerful argument. I must deliberately step out, placing my faith in God and in His truth. And I must place no confidence in my own works, but only in God. Trusting in my own mental understanding becomes a hindrance to complete trust in God. I must be willing to ignore and leave my feelings behind. I must will to believe. But this can never be accomplished without my forceful, determined effort to separate myself from my old ways of looking at things. I must surrender myself completely to God.Everyone has been created with the ability to reach out beyond his own grasp. But it is God who draws me, and my relationship to Him in the first place is an inner, personal one, not an intellectual one. I come into the relationship through the miracle of God and through my own will to believe. Then I begin to get an intelligent appreciation and understanding of the wonder of the transformation in my life.

 From: My Utmost For HIs Highest

humbly His

by jennifer benson schuldt

Daniel 4:19-37

[God] is able to humble the proud (Daniel 4:37).

Read Deuteronomy 8:12-15to see how prosperity can lead to pride. Read Psalm 138:6 to see how God relates differently to those who are proud than to those who are humble.

Would you rather try to correct arrogance in your life, or to have God take action to do so? Why? How can pride and arrogance harm relationships?

Only a handful of people know who wrote the book Embracing Obscurity: Becoming Nothing in Light of God’s Everything. The writer, who published the book under the name “Anonymous,” is a well-established author who is living out the main point of his (or her) message. According to Anonymous, the book is “a call to stop imitating the world’s formula for success and instead follow the model of our humble King.”

This book, written for Christians, shows that we can know who God is, yet be dizzied by a sense of our own importance. King Nebuchadnezzar had this problem. After seeing Daniel and his buddies escape—unharmed—from a furnace, he praised God, saying ultimately, “There is no other god who can rescue like this” (Daniel 3:29). Nebuchadnezzar had the right idea about God’s greatness, but he needed a lesson in humility.

His lesson began one day when he was strolling along the roof of his palace. Surveying the scene below, he said, “By my own mighty power I have built this beautiful city . . . to display my majestic splendor” (Daniel 4:30). A voice from heaven interrupted his self-congratulation. The voice told him he would go to live with wild animals and eat grass like a cow. He would return to society when he learned that “the Most High rules over the kingdoms of the world and gives them to anyone he chooses” (Daniel 4:32). This is exactly what happened.

When Nebuchadnezzar regained his sanity, he declared, “all [God’s] acts are just and true, and he is able to humble the proud” (Daniel 4:37). When we allow pride to pollute our souls, we can expect God to take us down a peg or two. However, it’s encouraging to remember that if we follow the Bible’s teaching and “humble [ourselves] before the Lord,” he will lift us up in honor (James 4:10). We will be humbly His.

From: Our Daily Journey

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