Stop for a Moment

It was wonderful to see you all last week at my home.  I hope you are having a good week and that you have a very Merry Christmas.

This  past week we received the sad news that my father-in-law passed away.  Funeral services were this weekend in Memphis .  It was a sad time, and yet the family certainly felt lifted up through the prayers and support of friends.  His death just before Christmas serves as a reminder of the brevity of life.  We are mortal.  We are also fleshly , and everyone of us needs a savior.

At Christmas we focus on the baby Jesus, but let’s also center our focus on the fact that Jesus came to this earth as a gift to mankind.  We are poor and needy, maybe not physically or financially, but we are all poor and needy spiritually. Because of our debt of sin, God lovingly sent a savior to the world.  Yes, our debt was paid by Christ’s blood on the cross, and He lovingly invites us to believe in Him and be saved. 

Let’s take some time to stop, take a deep breath and reflect on what is really important during this season.  Thank the Lord for sending his Son to this world as payment for our sin.  Death not only reminds us of our need for a savior, but it also reminds us of how important it is to actively love the people around us.  We do not know how much longer we have on this earth.  Loving God and loving others should be on the top of our list of things to give at Christmas and all year through. 

I’m reminded of I Corinthians 13:

“ 1If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.”

The passage goes on to describe a Christlike love:

4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres”

So let’s generously give the gift of love! May we reflect His love as we offer our gifts to others this Christmas.

In Pursuit of Wisdom

We had a tremendous meeting last week. We look forward to being together in August with Thelma Wells. Make your reservations now for Aug 25 at http://www.roaringlambsministries.org.

Devotional:John Bunyan had only a few years of formal education, yet he penned the timeless classic Pilgrim’s Progress in 1666, a book which is still widely read today. Bunyan wrote this masterpiece from his prison cell – imprisoned in England for preaching the gospel without a license. How is it possible that this man of humble beginnings and very sparse education could write such a profound work? My answer in one word would be Wisdom. Wisdom goes beyond what we simply learn it books. It is a profound insight and deeper understanding into matters of life. Discernment, good judgment and prudence are encompassed in wisdom.
The Bible says that wisdom comes from God and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. Solomon said “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” I’m not saying we should ever neglect intellectual pursuits and education, but I am saying we begin our pursuit with a humble recognition of our source of wisdom. The foundation of wisdom begins by acknowledging God as our creator and Father. The opposite of wisdom is obviously foolishness. The fool says in his heart there is no God.
God’s word encourages us to pursuit wisdom. We are also told to ask for wisdom. In the book of James we read, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” Isn’t it easy to go about our day, doing things our own way and going our own direction? Yet the voice of wisdom calls out. God is saying, “Draw near my child and listen to my voice. I will lead you. I will guide you. I am the God of all wisdom and I invite you to come to me.”
As a parent, we must seek God’s wisdom in matters of discipline and raising our kids. A business person would do well to seek God’s wisdom and direction as he or she faces decisions at work. As a writer, I recognize my need for God’s help and guidance to lead me along the path I am to go and to encourage others as well.
Let’s take time right now to seek God and ask for His wisdom to direct our lives. Oh Lord, we are open to you. We desire you. We love you. We need you. We ask for wisdom to live our daily lives and honor you in what we say and do.
This week talk with your kids about wisdom and how it goes beyond what we read in books. Wisdom extends into how we live life with discernment and prudence. Start each day by reading several proverbs from the Bible, and then be on the lookout for ways you all can implement the truth that you learn. Memorize Proverbs 2:6 together. This week especially be aware of when your child does something or says something wise. Take the opportunity to notice it and point out their wise actions or words. Each night as you tuck your kids in bed, pray with them thanking God for the wisdom He gives and then pray for wisdom for tomorrow.
Watch my interview with my daughter at http://www.webtv4women.tv