A WORD for the Week
Many people imagine God as He has every right to be seen—too large for the likes of us mere mortals. Perhaps this is because if we were a god, we’d act too big to bother with any one below our divine station. Our sinful pride wouldn’t have it any other way. But wait! Don’t we already act like this? Our world tells us to not shrink down to size. Don’t live a humble, subservient life. Don’t even think that way. That is how to become a success, a Somebody.
Then along comes our too-big-for-His-britches Lord to mess up that temporal pursuit of happiness.
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross! Philippians 2:5-8
The Maker of the Universe, unaccountable to time and space, shrank down to the size of a finite, frail human body. Then the King of Kings shrunk down even more to allow false accusations, torture and death overtake Him. Why? Because that’s Love, baby!
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, Ephesians 3:17b-18
To ensure this our Redeemer from death shrank down to size once again in the person of the Holy Spirit. Now our Comforter—our Advocate and Guide—deliberately lives in our hearts and minds. Why don’t we spontaneously combust? Because that’s Love, baby!
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you…But the Counselor…will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. John 14:16-18, 26
So go ahead and don’t be afraid to take this leap of faith. Joyfully shrink down to the size of our Servant. Eagerly humble yourselves to those around you even to the point of being labeled a fool. Willingly serve them knowing they are just as treasured as you are. Why? Because that’s Love, baby!
You were taught…to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness…Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:22-24, 32
347. AWAKENING by Tracy Hankwitz
I woke up this morning energized
which doesn’t happen often in January.
It’s winter’s coldest day so far,
and though it’s still dark and easier to stay in bed,
the sun will be up soon,
and I’m anxious to capture some scarce rays of rising light.
For the first time I’m paying attention to how the
liturgical seasons partner with the seasons of the earth.
Advent comes when days are shortest, nights long;
nature is dormant and darkness pulls us inward.
We search the darkness within and prepare ourselves
for the coming of Light, waiting with a knowing hope.
Then much-anticipated Christmas comes with its celebration
of wonder all still and quiet amidst noise
and clutter when earth is darkest.
As quickly as it comes, it’s gone with the New Year right on its heels
holding open a door to all things new.
With renewed intentions, routine returns and we slip into rituals
of the day, and darkness slowly ebbs away.
This is when epiphany comes - a much needed enlightening and a reminder of when the promised Savior
was revealed to wise men who persisted to seek him.
Those who followed the light of a star found the true Light.
Epiphany is the call to rise and shine,
to awaken and see God’s glory and persistently seek him.
He’s found in His word and evidence of His grace is everywhere –
in daily rituals, in simple things, even in dark moments.
Shine and reflect it with joy and gratitude.
‘Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.’ Isaiah 60:1NIV
323. When goals let you down by Diana Kerr
Happy New Year! I love the fresh start of a new year because I love setting goals, and I love helping my clients set them too.
However. I’ll be the first to admit that striving after goals can make you feel pretty empty. Goals are like anything else that we rely on too heavily: they will let you down.
Goals can fail you even if you succeed at accomplishing them. How? Because many of the achievements we seek after are good things that aren’t the ultimate thing. To make things worse, our motives are often a little messed up—a guaranteed way to decrease your satisfaction in achieving your goals. (For example, losing weight to be skinnier than your sister-in-law or seeking a promotion to get more money so you’re happier.)
As you go into this year, ask yourself if your goals really matter in the scope of eternity. If not, throw them out or adjust them. Ask yourself the why behind your goals. What’s your motivation? For your sake and for the sake of the Lord who loved you enough to lay down his life for you, make sure you’re not laboring in vain (Psalm 127:1) and keep 1 Corinthians 10:31 in mind: “Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” No big goal means anything without God in the equation, and no small goal is insignificant if it’s done to the glory of your Savior-God.
Devotion used by permission of Time of Grace®. For more information visit www.timeofgrace.org