Monday, December 8, 2008

Words of Encouragement

We come to give honor to God because he is worthy of all praise.

It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking. But there is a place where someone has testified: "What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honor and put everything under his feet." In putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to him. - Hebrews 2:5-8

Christ in Christmas. C is for care. We have been looking at ways we can be different this holiday season.  This week let us look at how we can continue to show our gratitude for God's gift. The scripture today reminds us that God cares so much for us.  The scripture is quoting from the Psalm 8:4-6 when it ask who is man that god cares for him. God's care for us was shown in Jesus coming to be amongst us.  We tend to look forward to Easter and that is good.  Yet there would be not Easter had Jesus not first come.  So as we think about Christmas in our time with God this week, let us think about how Christmas is a reminder of the care of God.  God cares enough for us to prepare a way for us.

Prayer: Lord you care for us.  We are thankful for your care.  This great care you show unto us exhibits itself through your gift of Christ.  You cared enough for us to send us Jesus.  Help me this week to share your care for someone else.  Help me to present to someone just how much you care for them.

in you I trust, O my God. Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me.No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame, but they will be put to shame who are treacherous without excuse. - Psalm 25:2-4

H is for Hope. The psalmist shows us that we can trust in God and when we do we can have hope.  We do not have to be put to shame for trusting in the Lord.  This hope comes when we trust in God and his way and plans.  The main plan God wants us to follow is the gift of his Son. This Christmas there are some that have lost hope.  Their are some whose current situations have them feeling as if things are not going to get better.  What people need today is hope.  Not hope in temporary things, but a lasting hope in the eternal God. In our time with God let us ask him these questions: (1) how can I offer your hope to someone that is without hope? (2) How should I pray for those that have lost hope?
Prayer: Lord today we are thankful to you for giving us a hope that will last.  This hope is not dependant on our situations but on you.  Lord we also ask that you would help us offer to someone else the gift of hope that comes from trusting in you.
 The words "once more" indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our "God is a consuming fire." - Hebrews 12:27-29

R is for Reverence. This scripture calls for us to be reminded that those things that can be shaken are being removed.  That which cannot be shaken is the kingdom of God.  We are told then, to be thankful and worship God with reverence and awe.  There are many people today that are looking for something that will not be shaken.  They just do not know where to look.  They are looking in the kinds of relationships they can have, or their jobs or their financial stability.  Those things will be shaken so that we can see that which cannot.  This season let us look how we can honor God as we show others where they can find that which is unshakable.

Prayer: Lord today we thank you for your gift to us so that we can have an unshakable hope in you.  Help us to reverence you in our worship and in all that we do.  Help us also to show others the way to you.  Help us to be like the star that the wise men followed.  Help us light the path straight to you.

God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 'For in him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.' Therefore since we are God's offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by man's design and skill. - Acts 17:27-29

I is for in Him. God created mankind.  Through Christ all that was created was done through him.  he did this so that men would seek to find God.  Why do we need to find God?  God is not lost but we are.  He is there waiting for us to seek him and when we find him we then truly find ourselves.  For in him we live and move and have our being.  In other words we cannot live a life for God, nor can we move in freedom without the gift that comes through Christ. There are people you know and interact with each day that are not really living.  They are like an empty shell.  They need to have the life that can only come from a relationship with God.  So this week reach out to those that you see and offer them the hope of a live in him.

Prayer: Lord today I thank you that I have life in you.  Without my relationship with you I would be lost.  I could not move or live. I thank you for the gift of Christmas.  Help me to show my love for you as I show someone else how they too can have a line in you.

I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior. - Isaiah 43:11

The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you. Sing praises to the LORD, enthroned in Zion; proclaim among the nations what he has done. - Psalm 9:9-11

S is for Savior and T is for Trust. The scripture in Isaiah talks about the Lord being the only savior.  Now you may say he is only speaking about God and not Jesus.  Yet if we understand that God is the Father and the Son we understand this is in fact talking to us about Jesus.  This one verse tells us that there is no other way of salvation but through Jesus.  The next scripture tells us to trust in God.  God is our refuge and a place of strength in times of trouble.  Those who know God by name can trust in him and sing his praises.  The key to our understanding is it is through Jesus that we are able to have fellowship with God and have trust in him.  There is someone waiting for you to tell them about the savior and that they too can trust him in and find their hope in him. It is through Jesus they will find their true reason for life and they can have their movement in him.

Prayer: Lord we thank you for the savior you sent to us to draw us to you.  We also thank you for being trustworthy.  We can trust in you to care for us because we know you are a God.