The warmth of this day reminds me of the warmth of Your love, oh God. The sun shines. It’s rays beat upon me. The light blinds my eyes. The sweat seeps out. And as the sweat trickles down my face, soaking my shirt, with its smell emanating from me, so may Your love overflow and emanate from my life. But as it does what will I do? As I hide the sweat on my body and the smell of it, will I hide the overflow of Your love? May I never do so. As the Son shines in my life: May others take notice. May people see the effects of Your love in my life. May it’s aroma cause others to pause. May I not mask what You are doing in me in an effort to avoid offense. May Your love sweat in my life and drip from my soul. May it’s sweet and pleasant aroma draw people unto You. May Your Son shine through. Oh Lord, my God, warm me with Your love through Christ Jesus my Lord. Amen.
I look at this picture and I see a child leaping with wild abandon into his father’s arms. The child, never for a moment, thinks that his father will drop him. It is a faith that is unshaken and solid. The father is bracing himself and eager to catch the child. Never for a moment does the father imagine doing anything to endanger his child. It is a fatherly love unmatched by anything and anyone of this world.
Following the catch I imagine a loving embrace filled with laughter. The father spins his child around trying to elicit more laughter all the while each of them are smiling ear to ear; enjoying the embrace. The child feels safe and secure; totally content and willing to jump again. The Father is filled with joy. Nothing in this scene dampens the child’s faith, but only draws him closer to his father. Nothing in this scene dampens the father’s love for his precious child. What a love that these two share.
Are you this child? God our Father is the Father ready to catch you.
Father God, may I jump with wild abandon into Your loving arms. May I cling to Your faithfulness even though the Enemy would have me doubt You. Holy God, I know You stand ready to catch, may I have the faith to jump. And as You catch me, may I cling to You and bask in Your presence; ready to jump again and again. Oh God, holy Father, You are my life, my shield, my home. In Jesus most precious name I pray, Amen.
Holy, awesome and mighty God,
I praise and worship You,
for through Jesus Christ I am sure that
neither death nor life,
nor angels nor rulers,
nor things present
nor things to come,
nor height nor depth,
nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate me from Your love.
And so may I live with patience and hope
knowing that I have already won the victory through faith.
In Jesus Christ I pray,
Holy and awesome God, In love You created the world and all that exists. In sadness You watched this world plunge into darkness through sin. In compassion You sent the prophets to warn Your people. In patience You waited. In grace you sent Your one and only son to this world. In mercy Jesus suffered and died for me. In power Jesus rose from the grave for me. In love You give me salvation through faith in Jesus.
Holy and awesome God, I am humbled and blown away when I reflect on this story. I am grateful and thankful when I reflect on what You did for me.
Oh God, You are indeed holy and awesome. May You receive all worship, honor, glory, and praise; for in love You have given me hope; in love You have given me peace. Oh God, I am so in love with You. Amen.
He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street; a bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice.
Isaiah 42:2-3 (ESV)
There are too many “loud voices” and not enough, down to earth, humble servants who are willing to bring healing through sacrificial living. I listen to these “celebrity” pastors and wonder sometimes if all they do is stand in front of people talking and talking and then go home and hide until it is time to stand in front of people again and talk some more. Do they bring healing to the “bruised reed” and fan the faintly burning wick of faith and hope in people? Do they just hide behind their words?
Jesus never sought the spotlight. Jesus never put out a press release. Jesus never stood in the town square yelling and screaming in order to get people’s attention. People heard about his love and compassion and they came running. Jesus’ reputation for loving the sinner and outcast spoke volumes to people. It wasn’t his loud voice that brought people running it was his “loud” actions.
As a Church we need to “quiet down” sometimes and get our hands dirty. We need to be people of action not just talk. Loud voices will get people’s attention, but humble service, authentic love and genuine compassion will keep people close. And when people are close they see the love of God through Jesus Christ.
We don’t need to yell and scream to bring people in; we need to live lives of love and compassion that shouts hope and peace in the name of Jesus Christ.
You came bursting onto scene in holy Love
and You paved a way through the wilderness;
straight into Your holy courts
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Your power has defeated
and Your love has redeemed your lost children.
May we cling to the promise of Christmas
as we bask in Your glory.
Through Jesus Christ we pray,