Wednesday, December 7, 2016

“God’s presence in your life has nothing to do with your feelings.”

A thought by Rick Warren (2008-11-04) from his book, The Purpose of Christmas (Kindle Locations 185-186). Howard Books. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to to buy the book.)

I know that this time of the year can be a very lonely time. You may feel that no one cares not even God. It can be a very depressing time.  But I have good news for you.  You are not alone even though you feel like you are alone.  You see your feelings can be wrong.

Rick says, “Your emotions are susceptible to all kinds of influences, so they are often unreliable. Sometimes the worst advice you can get is ‘Do what you feel.’ Often what we feel is neither real nor right. Your emotional state can be the result of memories, hormones, medicines, food, lack of sleep, tension, or fears. Whenever I start to feel anxious about a situation, I remind myself that fear is often False Evidence Appearing Real.”

Rick goes on, “God came to earth at Christmas to remind you that he is always with you, no matter where you are. That’s a fact, whether you feel it or not. The Bible says, ‘I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence!’ (Psalm 139: 7 NLT) But you must connect or ‘tune in’ to his presence on a moment-by-moment basis, and that is a skill that can be learned.”

He then says, “You may have been abandoned in life— by a spouse, by your parents, by your children, or by people you thought were friends. Everyone has faced the pain and heartache of rejection in some way. You may have experienced the sting of racial or ethnic prejudice, gender bigotry, or religious intolerance. If so, I am sorry. But God has not abandoned you! He never will! The Bible says, ‘God has said, “I will never leave you; I will never abandon you.”’ (Hebrews 13: 5 TEV)” 

There is a great promise in the Bible and it says, ‘When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.’ (Isaiah 43: 2 NLT)

Rick then says, “I don’t know what difficulty you feel you’re drowning in right now or where the heat is on in your life, but I do know that whatever it is, God knows about it, cares about it, understands it, and is going through it with you. You’re not alone.”

You are not alone.  You are not alone.  And you are loved.

You see Christmas is a time to celebrate that God is with you!

So will you celebrate that fact?

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

“You were created as an object of God’s love.”

A thought by Rick Warren (2008-11-04) from his book, The Purpose of Christmas (Kindle Location 162). Howard Books. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to to buy the book.)

Do you believe that, do you believe that you are an object of someone’s love?  You may say, nobody loves me because I am unlovable.  I am mess. 

Rick says, “The Bible tells us that God is love. It doesn’t say God has love, but God is love. Love is the essence of God’s character. It is his very nature. The reason that everything in the universe exists is because God wanted to love it. ‘The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.’” (Psalm 145: 9 NIV)

Rick goes on, “You were created as an object of God’s love. He made you in order to love you! His love is the reason you’re alive and breathing... Every time your heart beats and every time you take a breath, God is saying, ‘I love you.’”

He continues, “Because God’s love for you is unconditional, he loves you on your bad days as much as on your good days. He loves you when you don’t feel his love as much as when you do. He loves you regardless of your performance, your moods, your actions, or your thoughts. His love for you is unchanging. Everything else will change during your lifetime, but God’s love for you is constant, steady, and continuous. It’s the foundation for unshakable confidence.”  He loves you, yes you.

Rick also says, “There is nothing you can do that will make God stop loving you. You could try, but you’d fail— because God’s love for you is based on his character, not your conduct. It’s based on who he is, not what you’ve done. The Bible says, ‘Christ’s love is greater than anyone can ever know, but I pray that you will be able to know that love.’” (Ephesians 3: 19 NCV)

And that is also my prayer for you, that you will be able to know and experience that love.  Christmas is a time to celebrate that God loves you!  It really is and He really does.

Would you reach out to Him right now?

Monday, December 5, 2016

“God has given us, as human beings, the capacity to know him in ways animals can’t.”

A thought by Rick Warren (2008-11-04) from his book, The Purpose of Christmas (Kindle Locations 137-138). Howard Books. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to to buy the book.)

Rick says, “He created us in his image, which includes the ability to enjoy a personal relationship with him. Then he took the initiative to send Jesus so we could understand his love and our need for him.”

He goes on, “Of course, we know a little about God by simply observing his creation. For instance, by looking at nature we know that our Creator loves variety: he created an incredibly diverse universe. Think of the limitless array of plants, animals, rock formations, snowflakes, and people. No two human beings, even twins, are exactly alike. God doesn’t make clones or copies. Every one of us is an original. After you were born, God broke the mold.”

He then says, “By surveying natural phenomena, we also know that God is powerful and organized, and that he loves beauty. We all know that God must enjoy watching us enjoy what he’s created. Otherwise, why would he give us so many ways to enjoy it? He gave us taste buds, then filled the world with incredible flavors like chocolate and cinnamon and all the other spices. He gave us eyes to perceive color and then filled the world with a rainbow of shades. He gave us sensitive ears and then filled the world with rhythms and music. Your capacity for enjoyment is evidence of God’s love for you. He could have made the world tasteless, colorless, and silent. The Bible says that God ‘richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.’ (1 Timothy 6: 17 NIV) He didn’t have to do it, but he did, because he loves us.”

And there it is, the purpose of Christmas is for God to show us how much he loves us.  As Rick says, “The entire reason for Christmas is the love of God. God loves you so much that he came to earth as a human so you could get to know him and learn to trust him and love him back.”

Do you really realize how much He loves you?