I was so excited about launching a new short series on Hospitality earlier this week that I was woefully unprepared for the arrival of Thursday. It seemed to sneak up on me when I wasn’t looking. Then, like a playful friend, it placed its hands on my eyes and asked: “Guess who? It’s Thursday! Time for His Encouragement for Your Thursday!”
With only a few days left in the month of December, one year is ending and another is beginning. For many, this is the time for reflection and resolution. Whether your 2018 was amazing or terrible, filled with joy or sorrow, or a mixture of all of these, let us remember to always seek out the Lord’s blessings in our lives. That is why, as we close out 2018 and look forward to 2019, I pray that we all resolve to take Colossians 3:12-13 to heart. “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience…”
This time of year we love to share the nativity story, but let us not forget the entire reason that Christ came to begin with. Why was Joseph directed to name the newborn Child “Yeshua”? Let’s find out!
One of the most powerful yet subtle ways that the Lord moves in our lives is through people. Today’s verse is from 1 Thessalonians 5:11 and reads: “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”
As I was contemplating what to share today, I was reminded of this little verse in Mathew 14:14. It is often overlooked because it immediately presides one of the great miracles of the Gospels: when Jesus feed five thousand people with two fish and five loaves of bread. But I want to focus on Mathew 14:14 today.
Relying only on God means fully, completely leaning on His strength no matter the situation, no matter the cost, no matter the end. Yes, even unto death. For this world is not our home, and there is something far greater in store. May every deed we do, every word we say — even in the midst of our greatest trials and deepest sorrows — point to the love of the Lord Jesus so that others will see His light shining through us and learn to love Him, too. Friend, that is our purpose and our privilege. To love God with all of our hearts, souls, strength and mind and, because He first loved us, show this love with all of those we meet. (Matthew 22:36-20) May we be able to sing His praises always. Glory to the Father! Glory to the Son! And to the blessed Spirit!
There were a few times this past week when we had no idea if Mom would survive. You may have experienced or may be experiencing something similar. It is important to grieve, to deal with the flood of conflicting emotions, to process the current situations (as uncertain as it is) and begin to mentally prepare for the various outcomes. But never lose heart. Don’t lose hope. Even when faced with death. Death is not the end but merely the beginning of a new chapter.
My friend, no matter what terrifying situation you are going through right now, please know that God loves you, He cares for you deeply, and He offers comfort in your time of affliction and sorrow. You do not have to be afraid or go through this alone.
Humility is looked down upon in many circles today. It is all about taking care of #1! Showing off your accomplishments by spending lavishly. Flooding your social media with perfectly posed and curated photos to give the impression your life is glamorous. Humility is a weakness at best and a crutch at worst in the eyes of many. As such, there is little respect for the virtue of humility. Yet throughout the Bible it is mentioned over and over and over again.
Life is precious. Every second, every minute that passes is time that we can never get back. Every moment we share with loved ones is unique and, try as we may, we can never fully replicate it. Yet in this fast-paced world with an abundance of knowledge and distractions in the form of the Internet, social media, and at our fingertips, we are allowing this scarce commodity to slip through our fingers.