Good Tidings of Great Joy this Christmas
Don’t forget the greatest gift of all this Christmas, and it’s from God!
It’s so easy to forget the reason for this special time of year; take a moment to consider the meaning of the birth of God’s Son coming to the earth in the little town of Bethlehem.
Remember how no one had room for Mary and Joseph when they arrived in the town; the folk of Bethlehem were too busy with their own lives. We are pretty busy too, but have you got room for Jesus this Christmas? Join us in reading a short piece from the bible: Luke, chapter 2 v1-21. The prophet Isaiah in chapter 7v14 predicted this birth centuries before – you might wish to read that too.
We have a special message to each and everyone of you that in a world of uncertainty that we may accept the ‘good tidings of great joy’ and believe on Jesus as the Saviour of mankind. He took our place by dying on the Cross in Jerusalem. It’s as if a judge says to a guilty convict: ‘You’re free, I will take your punishment!’ What joy & change for the guilty!
God’s gift is free & for you.
‘To answer before listening – that is folly…’
To serve others effectively, you must be attuned to what they need. What keeps us from doing that? Assumption. A lady in an airport lounge bought a packet of biscuits and sat down to read the newspaper. She heard a rustling noise and looked up to see the man beside her helping himself to the biscuits. Not wanting to make a scene, she leaned over and took one herself, hoping he’d get the message. Then she heard more rustling. She couldn’t believe it. The man was helping himself to another biscuit! There was only one left! She watched in disbelief as he broke the remaining biscuit in two, pushed half across to her, popped the other half in his mouth, and left. She was still furious when her flight was announced. Imagine how she felt when she opened her handbag to get her ticket out—and found her unopened packet of biscuits! Now be honest, didn’t you assume the stranger was helping himself to her biscuits? Of course you did, and that tells you a lot about yourself! Too often we’re guilty of making assumptions about people and once you put someone in a box, it’s hard to think of them any other way. Do you agree?? Every time a good tailor sees a client, he takes new measurements. He never assumes they’re the same size as they were the last time. That’s a good policy. Never make assumptions about someone’s background, profession, race, gender, age, nationality, politics, faith, or other factors. Once you do, you stop paying attention and miss clues that can help you to know what they really need.
Corrie ten Boom said, ‘If you look within, you’ll feel depressed, if you look without you’ll be distressed, but if you look to Christ, you’ll be at rest.’
Worth a ponder!
‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.’
Do these three characteristics above mark you?
Jesus spent much of His ministry tearing down barriers and building bridges. He did it through acts of love such as washing the feet of those who would fail and betray Him, eating with a tax collector everybody in town despised, and giving hope to a fallen woman that society condemned. The Bible says, ‘Peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness’ (James 3:18 NLT). Words of peace are like seeds. They don’t produce fruit overnight, but slowly and silently they work their way to the surface, changing hearts, minds, attitudes and futures. Doctor Robert Oppenheimer, the noted physicist who masterminded the first atomic bomb, was asked by a congressional committee if there was any defence against it. Addressing a hushed audience he replied, ‘Yes—peace!’ Now, if peace can defuse an atomic bomb, think what it can do in the lives of the people you come in contact with! Jesus said, ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of God.’ Every day you’ll meet frightened, despairing, lonely, angry people who need a word of peace. Do you have one? Solomon offers us three ways to calm strife, defuse a tense situation, and get a better result: 1)Patience. ‘A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel’ (Proverbs 15:18 NIV). 2) Self-control. ‘Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city’ (Proverbs 16:32 NIV). 3) Wisdom. ‘A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offence’ (Proverbs 19:11 NIV).
From UCB – For other daily devotions click here
Is there a situation at work or church where people have started arguing instead of working together? Pray that they will see beyond their differences and work together. Have you let your frustrations distract you from what God has asked you to do? Ask God to help you let go and move forward – point to read – Matthew 4v19
From UCB Prayer Today.
In Lamentations 3:22-26 the prophet Jeremiah, after he had gone through a time of severe affliction which caused his soul to sink within him, came to this conclusion with regard to the LORD:
22 The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
His mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
great is Your faithfulness.
24 “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in Him.”
25 The LORD is good to those who wait for Him,
to the soul who seeks Him.
26 It is good that one should wait quietly
for the salvation of the LORD.
I have highlighted a few words in verses 25 and 26 and would like to ask you to take a moment to seek Him and wait quietly for Him so that you can also come to the same conclusion as the prophet. Why not embrace this scripture and hide it in your heart until you know it off by heart. I urge you, seek Him and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.
– Extract from Angus Buchan
‘Jesus is coming soon, believe me he’s coming soon’ – This was the words of one dear man, sat on a street corner near Covent Garden, London, he had his sleeping bag tucked around him in silent devotion but he had a hope and he was ready to meet his saviour. Another man I read of recently said ‘I had to pause and ask myself what I’d want to be doing if Christ returned today. And I found myself answering from Matthew chapter 24&25… to take my talents and invest them (where the need was).’
It’s a challenge how ready am I or you, are we sleeping? Are satisfied with everything?
‘Wait in faith and quiet patience, thou shalt know the reason why,
God allowed the storm to gather, clouds to blot the sunlit sky’ – Bernard Fell
Love! In the week of Valentine’s Day, we want to remember the real meaning of love. Without the motivation and expression of love, all “Christian” activities are more “activity” than Christian. Love is the expression of Christ’s character and presence in our lives through deeds done for others. So don’t get lost in the annual trip down sentimental lane. Too many of us forget the needed daily dose of love that so often gets lost in the grit of day-to-day relationships. Let’s be loving year round and thus show ourselves to be Jesus’ disciples. – From http://www.verseoftheday.com