Are You Free at Last?

“He [Onesimus) is no longer like a slave to you. He is more than a slave, for he is a beloved brother, especially to me. Now he will mean much more to you, both as a man and as a brother in the Lord.” (Philemon 1:16, NLT)

Today, we remember Martin Luther King, Jr., the Civil Rights Movement, and the freedom from racism and prejudice of any type that the movement and the American ideal represents. What does it mean to be Free at Last?

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New Beginnings in 2022

“Steadfast love and faithfulness meet;
righteousness and peace kiss each other.
Faithfulness springs up from the ground,
and righteousness looks down from the sky.
Yes, the LORD will give what is good,
and our land will yield its increase.
Righteousness will go before him
and make his footsteps a way.” Psalm 85:10-13 (ESV)

May the steadfast love of our faithful God bless you with new beginnings.
May the righteousness of Jesus kiss you with the peace of God.
May faithfulness fill your heart and mind
as our righteous Savior smiles upon you.
May our LORD pour out His goodness upon you
and heal our land.
May the righteousness of Jesus go before you
and lead you in the way, the truth, and the life.

May the Son rise and shine upon you.
May He bring you new beginnings in 2022.

Free Devotional Available

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Eternity Wraps the Christmas and Resurrection Stories in Love

“Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:43b-45, NLT)

I have seven nativities scattered around our home, not to mention our nativity Christmas tree ornaments. My Christmas newsletter’s 7-day devotion “A Savior Was Born for You,” begins with Isaiah 9:6, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

I find that leading up to Christmas, I focus on the birth of Jesus, the Son, the Child, and I neglect the government on His shoulder and why the Son was given. Instead, I think of Mary’s and Joseph’s devotion to God and His plans even though they didn’t fully understand them. I think of the miracle of the virgin birth, the angels proclaiming Jesus’ birth, the shepherds watching their sheep and then adoring the Great Shepherd. I smile and remember the wise men coming from the East bringing gifts and worshiping the All-Wise King.

Beautiful stories of God’s love, His goodness, and His glory. Beautiful stories and promises made possible by the self-sacrifice that was to come.

What if we started the Christmas story by telling the Resurrection story?

Continue reading Eternity Wraps the Christmas and Resurrection Stories in Love

A Savior is Born for You

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6, ESV)

Wonderful Counselor . . . Mighty God . . . Everlasting Father . . . Prince of Peace!

What if we prepared for Christmas in a different way this year? What if we deeply listened to our Wonderful Counselor, intently observed our Mighty God’s works, fervently prayed to our Everlasting Father, and fellowshipped with the Prince who brings peace that passes understanding?

“How small a whisper do we hear of him! But the thunder of his power who can understand?” (Job 26:14b, ESV) Listening for the loving whispers of Jesus counseling us.

“As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen.” (Luke 19:37, ESV) Observing our Mighty God’s works.

“And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” (John 17:3, ESV). Praying for a deeper relationship with our Eternal Father.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you.
Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14:27, ESV). Fellowshipping with the Son of God who made it possible to rest in His peace.

A Child is born, a Son is given, a Ruler governs. The Gift’s name is Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. All the world needs.

Jesus is our Wonderful Counselor who leads us in all wisdom. He is our Mighty God who overcomes the world. He is our Everlasting Father, our Abba, in whom we live and move and have our being. Jesus reigns victoriously and is our Prince of Peace!

Loving Father, Thank You for giving the world Your only begotten Son, Jesus, so that we could have eternal life in You and in Jesus. Empower us to walk more closely with You as we prepare to celebrate Your amazing gift.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

From the “Promise Walk” newsletter Christmas devotional. Download the 7-day Christmas devotional when you register for the newsletter.

Please share how you are preparing to celebrate Christmas.