January 20, 2018

A New Christmas


Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse,
And a branch from His roots will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him,
The spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The spirit of counsel and strength,
The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.
And He will delight in the fear of the LORD,
And He will not judge by what His eyes see,
Nor make a decision by what His ears hear;
But with righteousness He will judge the poor,
And decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth;
And He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth,
And with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked.
Also righteousness will be the belt about His loins,
And faithfulness the belt about His waist.

Isaiah 11:1-5

*   ♥  ~  ✝  ~  ★    *

I sit and look at twinkling lights and smelling an apple cinnamon candle burning.  It is a bit cold here too which makes it feel more like the Christmas season.  My eyes wander over to the clay nativity—the true meaning of this whole holiday—and I am teary.  I cannot believe that God the Father loves me this much, that He sent this baby into the world to walk as a man and ultimately to take my place in death, so I could live.  He did the same for you, too!

When you read this, what comes to your mind? Do you even realize the depth of His love for you?  Because of the birth of Jesus, every sin that you have committed, or ever will commit has been forgiven.

There is nothing that you could ever do
that would make Him love you any more or any less.

Read the Scripture above again and see how Jesus is described. “The Spirit of the Lord will rest upon Him” and “He will not judge by what His eyes see, nor make a decision by what His ears hear” sounds like perfect grace to me.  And we don’t deserve any of it.  Does this give you hope today?

*   ♥  ~  ✝  ~  ★    *

I know that there are some today who don’t know much about Jesus. Perhaps Christmas has never been anything more than presents and gathering with family…wreaths on the windows and a lighted tree.  But God wants so much more for you. He wants a Christmas that is filled with Him and the story of the birth of His Son.  Jesus changes everything!  If you receive Him today then your life will never be the same!  Will you accept Him today?  Will this be a Christmas to remember?  If you said yes, then pray this simple prayer with me:

Dear Father, I know that I am a sinner and I need Jesus to be my Savior.  Forgive me of my sins and help me to start over.  I want to be fully alive.  Thank You for loving me enough to not leave me this way.  I believe that You, Jesus, died to save me from myself.   Walk with me daily.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

{If you prayed this today, please comment and let us know!
We want to celebrate with you!}

Crazy Love: Chapter 3 – A Strange Inheritance – Do I Have A Choice?

“The irony is that while God doesn’t need us but still wants us, we desperately need God but don’t really want Him most of the time.”   — Francis Chan, pg. 61

Do you know, really truly know, that God loves you? As Francis says on page 61, God does not have to love us. He is complete and perfect just as He is. Yet, He wants us. We are His treasure; His possession; His inheritance. How incredibly humbling! The God of the Universe loves you and me personally. He desires to walk through this life with us, so we do not have to do it alone. It is utterly mind-boggling to think about.

Yet…we must choose to let God into our heart and into our lives. He is not pushy. He will not force His way in. He loves you, but He will not force you to love Him back.

When I fully realized and accepted Christ into my heart over two years ago, I wrestled with this idea of choice. I remember having a conversation with a friend about it. It went something like this:

Me: If God loves us so much and He desires a relationship with every one of us, why doesn’t He just make us love Him?

Friend: Then it wouldn’t be true love, would it?

I have a very smart friend. As much as God loves every single one of us and wants to be in a relationship with us, He will not force Himself on anyone. He gives us a choice. He doesn’t want a sliver of us; He wants all of us. He doesn’t want our good deeds, our rituals, or our faith without truly loving Him with our whole heart.

That’s not an easy thing to grasp. It took me a long time to truly understand it. I don’t have to be perfect before God. Through faith in Christ, my sin is washed away and I am free. I stand perfectly whole before my Father in Heaven.

So, we do have a choice: walk the narrow path of life with the Lord or walk the wide and broad path on our own (which the Bible tells us leads to destruction – see Matthew 7:13). It is the biggest decision we will ever make in our lives. It is a decision with life and death consequences.

Have you made that decision in your heart? If you are feeling prompted to today, take the time to pray now to accept Jesus into your heart and into your life—God has an amazing, enormous love for you (Romans 5:8).  <3

“Lord, I know I have sinned, but today I am choosing life over death. I am choosing You, Jesus. Please come into my heart and fill my life with your love and grace. Guide and direct my steps each day as I grow in my new faith. It is in Your holy Name I pray, Amen!”

If you prayed that for the first time, will you send me an e-mail to tell me about it? I’d love to celebrate with you!

Let’s Pray:

Father God, we just thank You for loving us, even though we do not deserve it. Thank You for Your grace. Just, thank You. For all of our new sisters in Christ who prayed to accept Christ today, we ask that You guide them in their new faith, instructing them in Your truth. Place Godly mentors in their path to help them, too, Lord. We just thank You, Lord, that You love us so much. In Jesus’ matchless Name, Amen!

Your Assignment:

What does it mean to you to know that you are God’s inheritance (Ephesians 1:18); His possession (1 Peter 2:9); His treasure (Deuteronomy 7:6)?

If you are interested in joining this amazing online Bible study for Crazy Love, click HERE to sign up.

Once you are registered, you will receive an email with further details.

If you would like to email a private message to Jennifer in regards to this blog, please email her at: Jennifer@GirlfriendsCoffeeHour.com