Mindful Of Me

“When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained. What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him” Psalm 8:3-4

Last night, I stepped outside to take out the trash and was immediately reminded of the verse above. As I looked at God’s handiwork: the brilliance of the stars, the constellations and the light that shines on the earth from the moon, I was reminded of how awesome God is. There is no mistaking it– in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth– this all did not just happen by some random act.

When you look at the magnificence of the universe and then you look at man in comparison, we seem so insignificant. Once you go so far into the atmosphere, we disappear from sight. Yet, God is mindful of us. He’s more mindful of us than any of His other creations. He’s so mindful of us that He sent His One and Only Begotten Son into this world to save us from our sins. He didn’t send Him to save the stars, the moon, the sun, the planets, the trees and other plant life, nor did He send Him to save the animals, fish and reptiles. He sent Jesus, so that we could have fellowship with Him for eternity.

This Holiday season, never think that God doesn’t care about you. Never think that He doesn’t see you and isn’t aware of you. Never think that you are too small for Him to notice. He loves you. He cares about you. He sees you. He knows where you are. Even the billions of stars and the vast galaxies can’t hide you from Him. He is mindful of you and where you are. As 2014 comes to an end and 2015 begins, remember how much you’re loved by God, reflect on His amazing grace and purpose in your heart to know God more.

-Micah E

Surrender

The other night I was reading from the book of Luke to my ten year old son. I was sharing with him the true historical events that occurred regarding the birth of Jesus. Since there is so much talk about Santa and Olaf (snowman) this time of year, I thought it was important to remind him of what really happened and why we celebrate Christmas.
This time reading Mary’s response, of being told she would conceive Jesus, had suddenly stood out to me.
Luke 1:38 says, “Behold the maidservant of The Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.”
Another translation says, “I am the Lord’s servant, May your word to me be fulfilled.”
I was amazed on how Mary was so obedient and willing. I imagine her being young and at first really afraid. She was no doubt astonished by the glorious angel, and then she naturally questioned, “How can this be, for I am a virgin?” She questioned just like we often do. “Why did my car break down today?”, “How can I share my testimony with them?”, “Why didn’t I get that raise?” Or even “Why did they have to leave so soon, God?”
It’s ok to sometimes question and ask the Lord why or how. I’m sure Mary had a million other questions as we have had in our own lives. She knew this was going to be difficult because of the persecution ahead. What would Joseph say? What would her family say? Imagine trying to explain that one to your fiancé. Back then women who had babies outside of marriage were despised, some even put to death. Despite all that, she was still willing. She was obedient and she was joyful. Not because of the difficulty she would endure, but she was joyful that God would use her. God wants to use you for something great. Are you willing?
As I shared with my son, I will share with you. We need to be like that! We need to be ready to do whatever the Lord has called us to, even if it seems hard or impossible. Mary was completely surrendered to God. Knowing how difficult it would be, she still rejoiced in the Lord. Mary knew she was blessed to be used for His glory.
Hebrews 12:1b-2 “…and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
As we face our own trials and difficulties or whatever God sets before us, may we remember how the Christmas story started. Mary surrendered her womb, her heart, and her everything to God, knowing and trusting and believing that “with God nothing will be impossible”.
My prayer is that we would do the same in truly surrendering our lives to God’s will for us.

Jeanine B.

A Very Present Help

It is that time of year again. Christmas carols are on the radio, at your workplace, in the stores, and every where you go. You may love them or hate them, but you can’t get away from them.

One of those songs that has me thinking is the song called ‘O Come Immanuel’. Like many Christmas songs, you do not have to know what it means to know the words. What does the word ‘Immanuel’ mean?

When the angel appeared to Joseph he explained that Jesus would be called ‘Immanuel’ and that it means ‘God with us’.

This is a great word to meditate on as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus! Jesus is the ultimate sign that God loves us. His birth is the ultimate sign that God is not just watching from a distance. He cares so much that He had to be right here with us.

This is not just a nice comforting thought, but an actual reality. God is actually with us and that is incredibly helpful in our times of stress, discouragement, and difficulty.

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1

In times of trouble we may not feel like God is with us, but He is. His Word tells us that He is very present in those times. When you do not feel like God is with you, remember that He is Immanuel.

Have you ever had someone offer to help you, but when they helped it was only halfheartedly? God is not like that. God greatly desires to provide real and significant help for you. He cares about your soul, your family, your job, and everything else too.

The psalmist tells us that God is there to help us, but there is something that we have to do to receive the help. We must be still.

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” Psalm 46:10

God will do the heavy lifting when we stop and trust in Him. This idea goes against our normal way of thinking. How can the troubles be resolved if we are still? They can be resolved because God is a very present help.

What is your trouble? Allow God to be that help that you need. Be still and trust God because He is Immanuel.

“The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah” Psalm 46:11

-Kim S

The Gift

The season of giving and receiving gifts is here; as a nation Christmas has become a symbol of consumerism, we are bombarded with Black Friday advertisements offering the lowest prices of the season for that perfect gift. Are you feeling overwhelmed this season in search of that perfect gift? In Matthew Ch. 2 we have an example of how wise men searched for the perfect gift.
The wise men searched for the King of the Jews by following His star, “ We have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him (Matt. 2:2), We can search for Christ through worship as we listen to and sing Christmas carols. These Christmas carols are really worship songs that proclaim His birth, who came for our salvation, “ Glory to God in the highest,” “Oh come let us adore him, Christ the Lord,” “With all our hearts we praise His holy name. Christ is Lord.”
The wise men knew scripture “So they said to him, In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet” (Matt.2:5), they knew where to find the newborn babe because scripture prophesied of His birth. So this season be a psalmist who says “I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word” (Psalms 119:16)
The wise men rejoiced “When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy (Matt. 2:10). The definition of rejoice is to feel joy or great delight. As women we experience many joys, but the one joy that will always be embedded in my thought and heart is the day I asked Jesus Christ to forgive me of sins. My heart was full of joy for that day I found what I was searching for, it was that reconciliation with the Father. Matthew 1:21 says “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
The wise men worshipped Him and gave Him gifts, “And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother and worshipped Him. When they opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him; gold, frankincense, and myrrh”( Matt. 2:11). It is said the gifts symbolize heaven, prayer and His subsequent death of our sins. The wise men found the King and they worshipped Him. So too, this season search for Him and worship Him for He gave us the perfect gift, eternal life.

Elsa D.