In this world you will have trouble…                                                 (John 16:33 NIRV)

You may not remember being a toddler yourself, but have you ever witnessed one expressing his newfound independence with the words, “I can do it myself!”? That thought generally continues far beyond the age of 2. In fact, I’m still struggling with it 50 years later. Oh, how the enemy loves that attitude! It feeds right into his plans to separate us from God.

As parents, we want our children to be able to stand on their own two feet and become independent adults. That’s a great goal, but perhaps we should be more specific and limit the object of that independence to people. No matter our age, trying to “do it ourselves” leads to pride and drives a wedge between us and our Creator.

When trouble strikes and the burdens are mounting, we quickly find that we can’t do it ourselves. Well, okay, maybe not quickly. I will admit, I often try to fix it myself first. Perhaps you do too. That’s not the way God drew it up though. He wants us to live in dependence on Him, not independent of Him. God doesn’t want us depending on anyone else. Humans will fail us; He won’t. While the enemy wants nothing more than for us to think we alone can handle whatever trouble finds us, Jesus says,

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”           -Matthew 11:28-30 NLT

Are you tired of trying to go it alone? Weary from hauling around your burdens? This promise is for you. Jesus wants to lighten your load and give you rest. He simply asks that you come to Him. That’s a pretty good deal, don’t you think?

But wait, it gets better! I never completed my opening verse. Yes, we WILL have trouble here on earth. Jesus then says,

“But cheer up! I have won the battle over the world.”                        (John 16:33 NIRV)

Or, in the words of a dear friend, “I read the end of the book. We win!”

Thank you, Jesus, for going to the cross and dying for my sins so that I may have life and have it in abundance. Help me to fully understand that you are all I need. If I stay focused and seek you above all else, you will meet my needs. Help me do my part and, by faith, trust you to do yours. Amen. 

Jesus – The Ultimate Gift


Have you heard??

“The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” ‭‭           Luke‬ ‭2:11-12‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Just as the prophet Isaiah foretold…

“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” ‭‭        Isaiah‬ ‭9:6‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Unto you. Unto me. Unto Us. A Son. Is. Given.

God gave us the Ultimate Gift when He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, from heaven in the form of a baby. May each of you savor the Savior and the hope, love, joy and peace that He came to give.

Merry Christmas

Advent: The Candle of Peace

peaceAdvent season is coming to a close and Christmas is upon us! How are those preparations coming along? I find it somewhat ironic that it’s the candle of peace that we lit last, just before Christmas. With time running out to git’r done, the stress levels tend to run high and the peace meter reads low. Whether your stress is Christmas-related or not is irrelevant. No matter the source, the bottom line is that stress and peace have an inverse relationship. So how do we combat stress and enjoy peace instead? I believe the answer is to keep our focus where it belongs. And just where is that? Right where I’ve been attempting to point all along—Jesus, the One whose birth we celebrate on Christmas.

“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” ‭‭               Isaiah‬ ‭9:6‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Out of love, God gave us His Son, Jesus. Did you catch all those names for that Boy who brought joy? That’s one impressive resumé, perfect even. We’d be crazy NOT to seek His help. We do that through prayer.

The Prince of Peace entered our world to save us. Take to Him the concerns that are weighing heavily on your heart. Replace those worries with prayers, remembering His faithfulness in the past, and trust Him with the results.

‬‬“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”              Philippians‬ ‭4:6-7‬ ‭NLT‬‬

The byproduct of prayer is peace. A peace that cannot be explained.

No matter the magnitude and quantity of your concerns right now, my prayer is that you would know Him as the all-powerful, all-knowing, ever-present God. May the Prince of Peace reign in your heart, now and always.

(Coincidentally, or perhaps not, “Unto Us” started playing in the background as I put the finishing touches on this post)