Ephesians 2:7-10 —definition of grace
7 that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God— 9 not because of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
We can’t earn our way with God. We have been granted grace through the sacrifice of Christ. None of us can say we are better than another. We are the same…god’s creation.
We were created to do good works. Not to win any awards or make ourselves noticed but to follow God’s plan for us.
Grace is a gift. Accept it.
Today we continue to look forward to the birth of Jesus. It comes close to the shortest day of the year and the time when we start back toward more light.The light of Christ is coming into the world.
I don’t think there is any data to tell us exactly the date of Jesus’ birth but this is when we celebrate it and that is fine. A time set aside for us to remember the birth of the baby that changed the world.
Amazing god, help to remember why we celebrate. AMEN
Advent brings so much for us to ponder. What is the meaning of Christmas? How can I get ready for Jesus? What does this season mean to me? Can I stop long enough to remember what it is all about?
We have to look toward Christmas with a ready heart.
Loving God, help us to turn from the busy-ness and dwell on the gift of God. AMEN
Advent is here and the theme of the thoughts for this season.
We are not good a waiting. Really, that is an understatement. We have a society of instant gratification. We want it and we want it now! When I worked for a group of pediatricians one of them said people expected a drive-by window where he would reach out and putting hands on the child say “heal.”
Advent is a time of waiting….waiting for the greatest gift mankind has ever had. Waiting for a baby. Expecting.
We must appreciate this time and use it. It is a time to ready ourselves for the gift!
Loving God, we wait. Help us to curb our impatience and use this time to think about the gift to come. AMEN
Psalm 19: 1-4
1 The heavens are telling the glory of God;
and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
2 Day to day pours forth speech,
and night to night declares knowledge.
3 There is no speech, nor are there words;
their voice is not heard;
4 yet their voice goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.
Everything is praising God. How wonderful if we could hear it all. The trees, the grass, the flowers are all crying out in praise. All the animals and insects. All things are praising God. Where are we in all of this? We go about our day and forget. We don’t join our praises with all the rest. We must praise and thank God!
Patient God, help us to remember to praise you at all times. Help us to join our voices with the rest of the earth. AMEN
Psalm 16: 1-2
1 Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
2 I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
I have no good apart from you.”
I don’t understand people who have no relationship with God. Where do they turn when life is challenging? It is not the things that we accumulate that give us “the good.” It is our God who provides us with the things that bring us life. Life with God is good.
Amazing God, thank you for providing the good in our lives. AMEN
I may have shared this before but I absolutely love this from Romans. It gives me hope that no matter what God will be there for me and you.
Romans 8:37-39 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Amen and Amen
Sometimes we spend so much time praying about our worries and for other people (important) but we forget to be glad. There is always something to be glad about. Look around you and be grateful and thank God.
God, you have given us so much. Remind us to be thankful. AMEN
God does not expect us to go around with gloomy faces. Who would want to be a Christian if we all looked like that? God wants us to look for the good and rejoice in it.
Loving God, help us to seek the good in life instead of concentrating on the bad. AMEN