I have still been reading Luke for the 24 days of Rediscovering Christmas Bible Challenge, I read chapter 9 today and have found some interesting verses in Luke that I wanted to share. Luke 9:23 "Then He said to them all. 'If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.'" This verse has to be speaking to me. It was in the Bible Challenge, in my daily devotion verse list, and in our Marriage Mentoring chapter for this week. My daily devotion and the Marriage Mentoring verse happened on the same day! I am thinking major God moment here! What is Christ trying to tell me? I need to do away with a worldy view of God and begin a more Biblical view. Do I really know how to die to self? I think this is the hardest part of being a Christian. We must learn his Word to fully live a Christian life. Rid ourselves of selfishness. Embrace our new identity that we have been unconditionally accepted into the family of God. Neither performance nor out of deservance have we become into the family of God. The only reason is because Jesus Christ died for you, for me. 2 Corinthians 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. What does the person who has really given up self and taken up the cross look like? Does someone who has these qualities come to mind when you think of dying to self. I mean, we have been taught since birth to look out for ouselves because no one else will. We have been taught self esteem, self worth, it's all about "me" attitude's. When reality is through Christ we will have those things. We must be more concerned with our heavenly life than our worldy life.
John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. What a concept, we can do nothing without Christ. Then what about me? Don't I matter? Of course you do, but you can only have life with Christ because without him, you are nothing. Something to ponder this Holiday Season, what do we want to look like to others in the New Year and throughout the hustle and bustle of shopping, parties, etc. Is that what God wants us to remember about this season, forgetting to give thanks to the one who took our sins and have washed ours clean? Or would we rather take a worldy view? Don't get me wrong, I will buy my babies gifts and join in on the singing, praise, and decorations but it all has to be with the intention of serving Christ and knowing what he is our redeemer. The way, the truth, and the life.
That post ended up longer than expected so I will leave you with a few quotes I found that I thought were worth sharing. Oh and BTW, the tree got decorated with much help from my sweet Ava, who will be 5 in January. My husband who has gone above and beyond to make this holiday as good as it can be. From decorations to the cards. I did design them but him and Ava really did the rest. She is such a great helper! And decorating the tree got me a little more into the Spirit and reminded me what this season really is about. Not about me, but about Him. Sure it will be hard and difficult but I can do it through Jesus Christ who gives me my daily strength.
Christmas is a necessity. There has to be at least one day of the year to remind us that we're here for something else besides ourselves. ~Eric Sevareid
It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air. ~W.T. Ellis
Instead of being a time of unusual behavior, Christmas is perhaps the only time in the year when people can obey their natural impulses and express their true sentiments without feeling self-conscious and, perhaps, foolish. Christmas, in short, is about the only chance a man has to be himself. ~Francis C. Farley
Christmas is not as much about opening our presents as opening our hearts. ~Janice Maeditere
When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things - not the great occasions - give off the greatest glow of happiness. ~Bob Hope
The List turned out longer than I thought. Oops another long post but I will leave you with just one that I hope you all instill and blessed beyond measure.
May the spirit of Christmas bring you peace,
The gladness of Christmas give you hope,
The warmth of Christmas grant you love.
I have also been doing really good with the Elf on the Shelf. Usually I forget to move him, but I know it's just been a few weeks but hope to keep it up!
And a side note, I was looking for a Christmas picture to post and it took pages to find one that revolved around Christ instead of Santa, Frosty, the Christmas tree or presents. I have finally found one though. Enjoy! For Christmas is a beautiful thing.
And December 12th is the Worldwide Compassionate Friends Candle Lighting http://www.compassionatefriends.org/, so light a candle in remembrance of a child who has died. Whether young or old, they are always someone's child. I have a candle in every window, not only for my brother, but for all those who we must remember. So, I know that candles in the windows are a little outdated but can't we choose one act of service and remember all who have been sent to their heavenly homes. I hope you do the same as well. Really, the candles have come a long way and actually look pretty cool!
Grab a candle 7pm Sunday and say a prayer for the families who have lost a loved one or for yourself if you have been faced with the difficult situation of the loss of your loved one.
And I didn't proof read this so there are probably mistakes but it is late and I am tired, I go back to work tomorrow! YAY me......
Go over to Ginger and Charlotte's blog Spiritual Sundays to link up and read some amazing and inspirational blogs!