Tag Archive | Christmas

The Reach of God

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:7

I was a teenage mom, not by accident, but by choice. From the time I was a little girl, dragging around a baby doll, my greatest desire in life was to grow up, get married, and have babies. I was just 18 when I married my High School sweetheart. A week later, we headed across the country to Florida where he was serving in the Air Force and would be for another seven months. Did we want a baby? Absolutely! Did we have any sense? None! Did we stop to consider he would soon be unemployed and we would be uninsured? No, we didn’t think of that.

I had an easy pregnancy, happy to be carrying my new husband’s child. As we got close to my due date, the doctor commented that the baby was not turned in the head-down position, but expressed confidence he could turn it before birth.

Unfortunately, she arrived more quickly than anticipated, coming feet first with her umbilical cord collapsed against the birth canal. I was in imminent danger of losing our baby at that moment. I was rushed to the delivery room where they cut me and literally pushed and pulled my baby out of the womb.

As they pulled her out, she was ghastly white and I thought that my baby was dead. There were no congratulations, no happy cheers, and most ominous, there was no cry from the baby. She was immediately whisked out of the very somber delivery room. In panic I kept asking, “Is my baby OK? Is my baby OK?” I could not bring myself to say what I feared most—was my baby dead?

They could only respond, “We’ll know in a few minutes.”  That few minutes seemed such a long time for this panic-stricken young mom. Finally, I heard a weak little cry and someone said, “That’s your baby.”  Words cannot describe the incredible amount of relief I felt with hearing that tiny cry.

A few minutes later they brought her to me, and I was certain she was the most beautiful baby I had ever seen.  She had totally captured my heart.

As I think of Mary, another teen-age mom, I wonder how it felt to know she was carrying God’s child. As she gave birth to her first born, I cannot imagine what it must have like giving birth in a stable instead of a cleaner setting. She gave birth not to the son of her new husband, but to the only begotten Son of God.

Knowing mankind’s desperate situation, God reached out and became a helpless baby to bring salvation to all who would receive. At Christmas we celebrate God’s incredible gift to mankind. Stepping out of heaven’s glory, Jesus became human. His mission was to become sin for us that we might receive the righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5:21).

If you have not yet received the precious gift of salvation, I urge you to invite Jesus to be your Savior and Lord. God in His grace is reaching out to you today. Celebrate Christmas by rejoicing in the most precious gift ever given—God’s beloved Son. Let Him capture your heart.

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God’s Power Plan

His incomparably great power for us who believe . . . is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead.  Ephesians 1:19-20 NIV

You may think I’m crazy, but I actually enjoy mowing the lawn and when you can’t walk, you can’t push a lawnmower. Following foot surgery in 2012, I faced a longer than anticipated recovery. The bones didn’t heal in the three months the doctor had predicted, and I was restricted from full-weight bearing for six months. During that time, I was unable to do many of the activities that I enjoy the most. I couldn’t hike or take walks with friends and family. I couldn’t plant flowers or dig in the dirt which I’m convinced in good for the soul. I longed to be outdoors during the long June days and focused too much on what I couldn’t do. Whining “I can’t” easily led to poorly attended pity-parties.

During that extended period of forced inactivity, I asked God what He wanted me to learn. One lesson became very evident—when I focus on what I can’t do, I am blind to see what I can do. When I changed my focus from I can’t, to what was achievable with my limited mobility, God opened my eyes to see the possibilities. I found I could pull weeds sitting on my backside, although I once scooted right through a dog pile. I learned to build a website. I had time to write and teach a new Bible study book. I was definitely able to do what God wanted me to accomplish during that time.

How often do you use the words, I can’t when faced with a challenging task? Do you recognize the “incomparably great power” that is available to those who believe? I find it mind-boggling that the power that raised Christ from the dead is available to me—to all who believe.

Paul recognized that potential when he indicated, “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength” (Phil.4:13). Although Paul wrote roughly half of the New Testament, I cannot find a single instance where he said, “I can’t,” to something that God asked him to do. He recognized the tremendous resurrection power of God that was active in His life.

When Jesus faced the unimaginable task of taking our sins upon Himself and dying in our place, He did not say, “I can’t”.  Motivated by love and strengthened by God, He chose the difficult path of obedience.

God’s plan is for His power to flow in and through believers to accomplish His ultimate purpose for us. Whenever He asks you to do something, He will empower and equip you to do it. He will never ask you to do what He won’t give you the strength to accomplish.

As Christmas approaches, is God asking you to do something difficult or challenging? Are there relationships you need to take the first step toward mending? Is there someone you need to forgive? Never forget, the power that raised Christ from the dead resides in believers. Take hold of it and choose the path of obedience.