The candle flickered in the night, its reflection dancing across the ceiling. bringing radiant light into a darkened place. My eyes fixed on the flame. My thoughts fixed on my heart where I had encountered many unexpected darkened corners.
Self-examination is not my idea of fun.
Shining the Light of Christ into shadows that hide rock-hard places of my heart can be painful, but necessary, as I long to yield to Him and make Him my Lord.
The Lord is calling to me as deep calls unto deep. He is calling me to dig deeper this Christmas season — to behold the miracle of His birth and to walk in the beauty of His holiness, the mercy of His grace. He is asking me to focus on HIM.
Do you hear His delicate whisper too?
It’s hard, isn’t it?
The competition is fierce. Retailers, relatives, chaotic busyness all vie for our attention and it quickly becomes a commercial whirlwind while Jesus sits in the corner wondering, hoping, that we will remember Him and celebrate His birth as our coming King.
Advent is the preparation for the Season of Christ.
Anticipating His coming, waiting with great expectation is what Advent is made of. During Advent we prepare for and anticipate the coming of Christ. Advent causes us to long for and recognize our need of forgiveness, salvation, and a new beginning.
And to remember that the story doesn’t end in the stable.
Bethlehem is the fulfillment of God’s promise to once again walk among His people — Emmanuel, God with us. Bethlehem begins the story of God’s promise of salvation for all people.
But the story doesn’t end there.
He will come again. And when He comes, this bride wants to be ready to run into His arms as He spins me around with delight knowing I have done the work of sanctification that I might know Him fully.
That’s heavy, isn’t it?
God’s callings shouldn’t be taken lightly.
I don’t think I’m the only follower of Jesus that feels this way.
Will you join me? Will you determine in your heart to focus on Jesus during this season of Christ, allowing Him to transform and renew you?
I will be taking a break from my regular blog schedule during the month of December, but each Sunday I will pray a prayer of Advent with you: a prayer for hope, love, joy, and peace — four gifts Jesus brings to us. Prayers to know Him more. Prayers to allow Him to do the hard work in our hearts — that work of sanctification that sets us apart to do His will.
That work that transforms us into the image of Christ so that others may know Him.
As Thanksgiving comes to a close and Christmas knocks at the door, I’ll be praying for each of you as you seek to know Him more. I cherish your prayers also. I’m excited to find the thrill of hope again, for Christ alone is our hope. I look forward to an overflow of joy and His peace that passes all understanding. I especially look forward to stepping away from the chaos to be still before Him and remember that He is God.
When we seek Him, we will find Him.
Oh sweet friend, I will be praying for you daily.
Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD! (Psalm 27:14)
For God alone my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my deliverance and my honor; my mighty rock, my refuge is in God. (Psalm 62:5-7)
I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in His word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning, more than those who watch for the morning. (Psalm 130:5-6)
O Israel, hope in the LORD! For with the LORD there is steadfast love, and with Him is great power to redeem. It is He who will redeem Israel from all its iniquities. (Psalm 130:7-8)
Those who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)
Therefore prepare your minds for action; discipline yourselves; set all your hope on the grace that Jesus Christ will bring you when He is revealed. (1 Peter 1:13)
The one who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! (Rev 22:20)
His Truth sets the captives free.
Those whose sin has cast them far away into exile, He longs to bring back home.
His love is from everlasting to everlasting and His mercy is great.
Merry Christmas, my friend … Merry Christmas,