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Posts Tagged ‘hope’

Our pastor’s devotional message for Christmas Eve was rich with ideas to ponder.  He unwrapped (literally and figuratively) the three gifts of God given us in Christ’s birth, using Luke 2:1-20 as his text.

“For unto you is born this day a Savior…”

The first gift God gave was Salvation. We need to be saved FROM our sins (as a drowning man in rough seas must first be pulled from the water);  we are saved TO a faith community and a relationship with God (as the drowning man is hauled into a lifeboat); we are saved FOR a walk in new life and new purpose (as the man is returned to the safety of dry land).   Forgiveness, repentance and recompense.  If we refuse to forgive a repentant brother in Christ, are we saying that Christ’s death was not sufficient for the task? If God forgives, can we refuse to ?

…”Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests.”  

The second gift God gave was Peace.  Peace in this world doesn’t mean the absence of conflict, but the presence of the Savior in the midst of conflict. We will never have true peace among all men on this earth until the Lord’s return, but in the meantime all His children can experience His peace which is beyond human reason and comprehension, because we have His presence with us, living in us.

The third gift of God that night was Hope. While Salvation speaks to what is past, and Peace allows us to live in this present life, Hope looks forward to that blessed day when we shall be with God in glory. Death will be swallowed up in life, every tear will be wiped away. Do you know this verse of “Joy to the World”?

No more let sin or sorrows grow, nor thorns infest the ground!

He comes to make His blessings flow far as the curse is found…

Far as the curse is found… Far as, far as the curse is found.

May your Christmas be rich with the gifts of Salvation, Peace and Hope.

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Psalm 77: Suspending My Disbelief, Sustaining My Hope

When all that was vibrant and teaming with life

feels like pewter plate–heavy and dull;

When the duties of worker and mother and wife

leave me hollowed, a beaten-down hull;

Your Word is a light flick’ring fast in the gloom,

and Your Wind blows a life-giving breeze through my desolate room.

– – – – – –

The bow which caresses the string strokes a lingering tone,

and it trembles, sustained on the air, an invisible wave.

The Word suspends each spinning sphere on a track of its own,

and their circular dance shapes our seasons from birth to the grave.

– – – – – –

When I can’t feel my pulse for the numbness inside,

and my heart is a stone in my chest;

When I’ve run out of salt for the tears that I’ve cried,

and my sleep is too heavy for rest;

I’ll remember the God who created this clay,

Who crafted with purpose each numbered, deliberate day.

– – – – – –

And I know Peter’s feet found a footpath on top of the waves…

and he took a few steps till he faltered and sank like a stone.

Help me stand on Your Word that it isn’t my willing that saves–

help me trust in Your promises– firmer than all of my own.

– – – – – –

When I don’t see the point of the things that I’ve planned,

and I shudder and tear up the list;

When I fear that what’s under my floor is just sand,

and I can’t see my feet for the mist,

I remember the beam that’s supporting my weight

is the wood of the cross where You hung to reverse my sad fate.

– – – – – –

And I know that the Red Sea was parted, and Jericho fell,

and that Lazarus lived, and an angel appeared in a cell.

And I stand on Your words when my own are all crumbled to dust.

And Your promise upholds me when there’s nothing else I can trust.

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