Today, you are likely still waiting for something in your life. You may feel stuck. You may want to fast forward this part of your life to get to the next chapter. But your time doesn’t have to be and shouldn’t be wasted in the waiting. God gives us the opportunity to grow and to prepare for all that He has for us during these times.
Sometimes, when you feel so guilty about something you’ve done, you may not feel like you have the language to approach God. You want forgiveness but don’t know what to say. In those times, I’d encourage you to pray the words of David. We know that God answered David’s prayer! His failure wasn’t the end of his story. God used David and his descendants to bring about the promised Messiah, Jesus. God redeemed David, and scripture remembers him as “the man after God’s own heart.” His heart was cleansed and a right spirit was renewed within him (Psalm 51:10).
Jesus said that even though there is trouble in this world, we must take heart because he has overcome the world. He has defeated all the powers of darkness, and He gives us a hope not only for now but for all of eternity. As followers of Jesus, we also have His powerful Spirit in us, a hope that our nation desperately needs. God’s plans are always good, and He wants to use us, His church, to bring the same kind of hope that Jeremiah brought to his people, to the people of our nation as well.
Today, it’s hard to know who or what to trust. Misinformation, strong opinions, and conspiracy theories are everywhere. There can be so much noise as people passionately argue that their point of view is the truth, and not only that it is ‘the truth,’ but that you must accept and agree with it in order to get along with them. Did you know that the devil is the author of confusion and misinformation? In fact, in the opening scenes of the Bible, his primary tactic was to misrepresent and undermine trust in God and His word. That’s what happened in Genesis chapter 3; it’s literally the oldest trick in the book.
In the Bible, there is a clear gift of evangelism, just as there is a clear gift of being a pastor or teacher. But sharing our faith, as Peter mentioned, is the responsibility of every follower of Jesus. Most of us probably won’t be preaching to mass crowds in stadiums like Billy Graham, but we all have people in our lives who need to hear about the hope inside of us. Evangelists are to be treasured gifts to the church, and my hope is that we can reframe the image of what an evangelist is through the journey of reading this classic book. An evangelist is one who is motivated by love, one who asks sincere questions, and one who is quick to point the way toward Jesus.
The Christmas season can be the most wonderful time of the year for some, and the most stressful or contentious for others. We hear Christmas songs about ‘peace and goodwill to men,’ but sometimes those can seem like concepts far removed from our own personal situations. As Christians though, we know that through Jesus and His victory over death we have peace with God (Romans 5:1). We know that Jesus gives us the peace of God.
Jesus wants you to love him, live for him, and follow him with all your heart. He wants you to love others, to life generously with your time, talents, and gifts. He wants you to put him first in all you do, to learn his ways and model them to others. He wants you to be part of building the Kingdom of God on this earth. What are you building your house on?
The first thing that your spiritual enemy wants to do is to cause you to doubt your identity. He wants you to question if what God says about you is true. That’s what happened for Jesus and that is what happens for us. The devil doesn’t like it when we move from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light. He will do anything in his power to erode the truth of God’s word in your life. That’s why it’s so important to follow Jesus’ example. Be rooted in prayer and in God’s word. And take hold of the authority that we have been given as God’s beloved children.