31. It has begun… look up and take hold.

The unspoken, universal announcement has been made. The lights are up, the decoration-plans executed. Retail and wholesale are ready for the harvest and their advertising campaigns spell out the demands of the season. Headaches over gifts and travel plans are painful and real and emphasize the heavy, hurting burden of the so-called time of joy and celebration. Tills and credit card machines deafen the music in the shopping centres all over the world.

I don’t have a plan or advice for the secular, empty and sometimes ridiculous celebration of Christmas. As a family we have distanced ourselves from Santa Claus and in stead placed the emphasis on God the Father and the great gift of His son. We do have a tree and other decorations to mark the celebrations, making sure that Jesus is central to everything we do. Gift giving was always limited and balanced – it took great effort to keep it creative and joyful. [Pebbles number 11]

In this world the celebration of Christmas will once again come and go with all the flagrant perversion of the truth and distorted exploitation of the wonder. Just a superficial imagining of the desperation and destruction around us and the worldwide clamour of guns and bombs should smother the festivities. How many people are stunned by the bloodshed and injury of war, violence and abuse this Christmas season?

How do we respond? Pray with me:

Dear Father, we ask you in the precious, powerful Name of your Son, Jesus, whose coming we celebrate, to let your kingdom come into the chaos around us. Let your Word live in us through your Holy Spirit to enable us to heal and encourage. We crown you as the King of Christmas. Help us to forgive, protect us from evil and provide the fullness that comes only from you, to enable us to fill this season with the Truth that it needs.

Deep honor and bright glory to the King of All Time—

One God, Immortal, Invisible, ever and always. Oh, yes!

[1 Timothy 1:17 The Message]

This is our prayer, but it is not all.

Let us make a realistic survey of the wonder of Christmas, in which we as the chosen ones, the privileged earthlings to be called children of God, are called to give content to the season.

The very first principle is John 15:5:

“I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing.

Jesus is the core, the cornerstone, the foundation and substance of Christmas. Without Him the feast is the creaking of rusty hinge, the clatter of an empty tin being kicked around by bored boys.

The purpose of Christmas is to show us the heart of God. He is the most magnificent Father, He is the Prince of Peace, He is the great Counselor.

He is enough reason and the ONLY reason for the Feast. Let us then celebrate in the fullness of the vine that speaks of provision and prosperity at a deep inner level.

Jesus is the Saviour of the world. It is the message that we know and proclaim. Rightly so.

It is within the empty, dissonance that we, the church of Jesus, determine the qualitative content of the Feast.

Pebble pals, do not shy away from the celebrations. It does not matter that the date is wrong and the onslaught of godlessness nauseates you. We are never victims. Use the opportunity. The feast is coming – whether you like the way it is done or not. Step into it, mindful and aware, and equip yourself with a word in season [Isaiah 50:4]. Bless everybody whose life you touch.

Jesus warned his disciples that they would be dragged in front of governors and other authorities. It could not have felt right to be violently apprehended and forced to defend yourself in front of mocking pagan officials who had no respect for God. Jesus said in Matthew 10:18: [The Message]

Don’t be upset when they haul you before the civil authorities. Without knowing it, they’ve done you—and me—a favor, given you a platform for preaching the kingdom news! And don’t worry about what you’ll say or how you’ll say it. The right words will be there; the Spirit of your Father will supply the words.

Grab hold of the promise of Holy Spirit words for the occasion.

Ephesians 5:16:

So watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times!

Colossians 4:5:

Use your heads as you live and work among outsiders. Don’t miss a trick. Make the most of every opportunity. Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out.

 There is no higher authority on earth than the church of Jesus Christ.

Did you hear that? Take a Selah-moment and let it settle in your mind.

Nobody on this earth has higher spiritual authority than the born-again, blood bought, Word-strengthened child of God!

Authority is a well known, accepted part of life. Parents have authority over their children, managers over employees, governments over citizens, kings over subjects. In the spiritual realm there are layers of authority – angels, archangels, cherubs, seraphim’s and others, as also in the kingdom of darkness.

The evil spirits acknowledged Jesus’ authority over them.

Luke 4:35:

But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him in their midst, it came out of him and did not hurt him.

Luke 8:29:

For He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man.

What about us? What authority do we have? Only what is given to us by Jesus Himself. We are children of God. We have been given the authority and live it from our privileged position through the Cross where we are sitting with Christ in heavenly places.

Luke 9:1:

Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases.

By now everybody would know how I love the story of the prodigal son. It seems that every time I read it, read something about it or hear somebody speak, I learn something more. Many years ago, in a group of women, I was surprised and shocked to learn what mind picture they have of God the Father. Most said they think of a strict, old man ready to judge and wipe them out. We agreed that day to think of the Father as the gracious figure of love and forgiveness in this story. Just imagine the enthusiasm welcoming you home with a hug, a party of only the best, new clothes, a ring and new shoes. What a joy! [Luke 15: 11-32]

Sitting by the pigs the son prepares a speech to beg his dad to take him back a labourer. In the arms of his father he realizes that he had no right to ask for the position of a slave. He was a son, and nothing could change that. His father cut him short and did not allow the full declaration of guilt and shame to be pronounced over himself. His identity is restored so that there is no record of his humiliation and wrong decisions.

Just this past week, I heard the example of the record that is taken when a child learns to ride a bike. The photo’s and video are usually about the triumphant success of the first solo-ride. All the bloody knees and teary falls are not recorded.

Are you ready to clothe yourself in you best party gear and give some content to Christmas?

We all know that Christmas is also marked by drunkenness and debauchery.

In Ephesians 5:18 Paul warns against it.

And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit.

To be drunk with wine brings about foolish wildness that leads to shame and humiliation. As Elliot’s commentary puts it:

It is the effect of a self-abandonment, by which the sensual or passionate elements of the nature are stimulated to frenzy, while the self-controlling judgment is drugged to sleep.

Why would Paul bring the infilling of the Holy Spirit into this context? A drunken person does not have control over any part of his thoughts. All his thoughts and actions are controlled by the drunkenness.

We as believers are filled with the Holy Spirit, but keep some thoughts under the control of fear and unbelief. Part of us is in agreement with demonic activity that is always trying to undermine our powerful faith-life. Fear and unbelief weakens us.

Let us allow the Holy Spirit to fully control our thinking, rinsing out the fear and doubt just like wine controls drunken thinking.

Pebble pals, hold on to your pebbles, your river stones. Remember your anchorless fellow earthlings and make a difference this Season.

Joshua 4:23:

For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you crossed over, just as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed; so that all the peoples of the earth may know [without any doubt] and acknowledge that the hand of the Lord is mighty and extraordinarily powerful, so that you will fear the Lord your God [and obey and worship Him with profound awe and reverence] forever.”

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22. Where is your God?

Post modern people sneer at believers. They rant about alleged inconsistencies in the Bible and nurse their bitterness about church hurt and disappointment with God. They cling to a twisted perception of what God should be in their unchallenged, intellectual approach to things unseen, beyond the realms of the mind. Christians rarely have the answers ready and shy away from arguments. I do too. I feel that I am by far not capable of proving God’s existence and ways with man. I leave that to the “professionals”, the very eloquent and smart apologists of our time, for whom I have the greatest respect.

Today, more than ever, I am grateful for the faith that I was fed with mother’s milk. My lullabies were songs that I remember to this day: Because He lives, I can face tomorrow, Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, My God can do anything, Got any problems, you think are impossible and so on. I grew up with the stories of grandparents and parents who trusted God and rejoiced in miraculous outcome to insurmountable situations – in war, finances and relationships. I thank God for that.

Recently I have been challenged by friends who rejected faith. I was deeply troubled by their complacency of a life without God. I was still in the frame of mind not to argue and comforted in my conviction that arguments do not win souls, when I mentioned our discussions to my son, who is active in the field of apologetics. Of course you must argue …and win, he shot back. Of course arguments win souls. We cannot sit back and let them step into the field of theology without confronting their mindset with the truth, he went on.

We had a wonderful, thrilling discussion and I went away armed with better ideas to answer the superficial and unfounded sweeping statements of non-believers. That aside.

I again asked myself how is it possible that I cannot understand this rejection. I am so dependent on Jesus. I need Him in prayer; I need Him in provision; protection and blessing. I need to hear His voice about my situation; I need the ancient words of encouragement so perfectly applicable today – what a miracle. How could anyone reject this treasure?

During the course of our discussions, I have come to the conclusion that it is easy to reject something you never had. Christianity can be counted, church members are statistics and charity work is visible. Churches are full of members who find social acceptance and comfortable relationships in volunteering and blessed service to the church and to God. This is a good thing – I rejoice in every person doing this, including myself, not only in church but also in the wider community. This is exactly where we need every Christian working and living in the fruit of the Holy Spirit – Galatians 5:22,23:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.

But that is not all. We all need the power of God working through us to truly meet the challenge. We need ALL the gifts of the Holy Spirit. We need the full blessing of everything mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12. If we live and move and have our being in the full measure of the Spirit of God, it is impossible to reject the Lover of our souls and the indwelling presence of our loving Father Who carries us through everything life may throw our way. Daily communion and communication with God can never be replaced with anything else and leaves an unbearable void when it is not experienced.

This is the true Gospel. God in us – Immanuel – on invitation in our inner being, living in us, creating and working and thinking.

John 15:5:

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

And the promise to top it all:

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.

Our ultimate spiritual triumph is to abide in Christ. Without that we are powerless churchgoers not up to the challenge of transformation and new thinking.

John 15: 9-12:

9“ As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

11 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. 12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

Jesus is our leader; we follow in His way paved with love. How do we walk?

Method: Keep His commandments. Verse 10.

His commandments: That you love one another. Verse 12.

Result: Joy – that unspeakable, ecstatic delight not dependent on any circumstances. Verse 11.

Paul starts the twelfth chapter in 1 Corinthians with a sure test for the Spirit of God in all situations. We know where there is freedom to experience the working of the Spirit, the devil is active to abuse the freedom and sow deception. But we should not be ignorant, says Paul. We can test the Spirit by the confession that Jesus is Lord. No one can do that but by the Spirit of God. This is confirmed by John in

1 John 2:22:

Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.

and 1 John 4:2:

By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God,

I love the scale and grandeur of the working of the Holy Spirit as described by Paul in the next verses. We are not limited or boxed in. The immense and unfathomable diversity in creation that blows our minds is available in the Spirit of the God who created this immeasurable universe. It is all subjected to the indwelling of His Spirit in us to aid and abet all possible state of affairs. We are never left without the solution to our problem. The manifestation of the Holy Spirit in and through us will benefit us and all those around us.

1 Corinthians 12: 4-7:

There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:

Before we study the specific gifts of the Holy Spirit discussed in this chapter, we should emphasize again and again that the born-again, Spirit-filled child of God, lives through the Spirit and does every good deed by the urging of the Spirit working in his inner being.

1 Corinthians 6:19,20:

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

 Ezekiel 43: 4.5:

And the glory of the Lord came into the temple by way of the gate, which faces toward the east. The Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; and behold, the glory of the Lord filled the temple.

Ezekiel describes how the glory of the Lord filled up the magnificent temple in his vision. Paul commands us to glorify the Lord in our bodies and spirit for it is the temple of God. The church of Jesus Christ is the New Jerusalem and we are the temple in which God dwells. This is a grand thought. How can this most high God live and find His dwelling place – not just a fleeting visitation – in mere mortals like us?

2 Chronicles 6:18:

18 “But will God indeed dwell with men on the earth? Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You. How much less this temple which I have built!

Jesus on the cross gave up His spirit to God and at that very moment the thick, woven curtain in the Temple in Jerusalem was torn from top to bottom, to restore access to the Presence of God through the Blood of the Lamb. [Matthew 27:50-51]

Jesus glorified His father in His life on earth. John 17:4:

I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.

The glory of God is the full exhibition of His character.

Jesus touched the untouchables, the lepers whom nobody touched; He spoke to women, forbidden by the laws of the church; He invited the children who were thought a nuisance, to His embrace.*

We are to exhibit His character in our lives. This is not possible without the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 3:16,17:

Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.

Come let us pray the beautiful prayer of Solomon in his dedication of the temple. May God put His name in our hearts – Hallelujah!

2 Chronicles 6: 19

19 Yet regard the prayer of Your servant and his supplication, O Lord my God, and listen to the cry and the prayer which Your servant is praying before You: 20 that Your eyes may be open toward this temple day and night, toward the place where You said You would put Your name, that You may hear the prayer which Your servant makes toward this place.

 Pebblepals – Where is your God? He is in you!

Next week: Gifts for every place and situation.

Scripture for these examples:

Luke 5 / Mark 14 – lepers

John 4 / Luke 8 – women

Luke 18 – children

21. This amazing power…

Welcome back Pebble pals. We are still celebrating Pentecost, the Feast of the first fruits of the harvest fifty days after Easter. It is a time to be aware of the amazing power given those who wait on the promise of the Holy Spirit.

Spiritual ghosts are dangerous. Paul warns us in the book of Timothy against a form of godliness. See-through, wishy-washy church activities with no substance, no power, no truth. We are to avoid such people – a strong warning indeed!

Powerless Christians give Christianity a bad reputation. They fight against the wrong people and make loveless judgments to condemn and exclude. A mere glance at church history is enough to make my head hang in shame of what was done in the name of my Father. Church leaders, so justified in their own man-made doctrine, with no consideration of the revelational knowledge of the Presence of a loving heavenly Father, that they tortured and murdered, thinking they act according to the will of God.

2 Timothy 3:5:

They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!

For [although] they hold a form of piety (true religion), they deny and reject and are strangers to the power of it [their conduct belies the genuineness of their profession]. Avoid [all] such people [turn away from them].

The church with no Jesus could never be the answer that the world around us so desperately seeks. Church ghosts wander around in a neutral zone of comfort-worship discussing overwhelming evil, crime and irresponsible living that reduces our world into a garbage heap of pollution and death, as the news of the day, without the sure knowledge of ultimate victory and the power in true Christianity to face the day head-on.

Church ghosts have no answer for the one-dimensional, superficial challenge from the post modern community, who constantly questions the God of love allowing blood on the streets and black flag extremism with murder on their lips. It amuses me that by asking this very question, the unbeliever puts God in control as if He, without invitation, should intervene and solve the mess. The core principle, from the very beginning of God’s involvement with mankind, is choice. Without choice there can be no love. Love is always a choice; otherwise it is not true love. Therefore it is only in the powerful rendering of our own testimony that this question can be answered.

Revelation 12:11:

They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony;

Our own testimony, our pebbles of perpetuity, is the story of our ultimate triumph in God. We are still living in a broken world and it may feel that God does not intervene on your behalf in a way that you perceive as beneficial, but our ultimate victory is guaranteed in Jude 24 – a verse that has been quoted numerous times as an important pillar of faith.

By the Holy Spirit we are challenged to see beyond the superficial reality revealed to our senses. We are invited to look into the unseen, into the invisible Kingdom of God, which is a greater reality, though not visible to the fleshly eye, and, by His power to overcome the obstacles.

When we combine our soul (mind, will and emotion) with our body we become flesh and are reduced to superficial thinking. When the Holy Spirit quickens our spirit the combination of soul and spirit is spiritual thinking.

Looking at the world today and the challenges of the future may cause a jungle of thoughts with a windmill-effect – round and round with no solution. Let us apply the soothing salve of ancient words.

Ezekiel 36:26,27:

 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you…

And I will put my Spirit in you…

God’s word stands firm and true through all the ages, just as He promised Ezekiel a two-fold process, He re-affirmed on the day of Pentecost.

Jesus breathed on His disciples to receive the Holy Spirit.

John 20:22:

And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.

Why then did they have to wait in Jerusalem to be filled with power?

According to Ezekiel we are given a new spirit and thereafter the Spirit of God Himself. The Holy Spirit builds the house for God to live in. The process of rebirth is all the work of the Holy Spirit, a new spirit in us, our spirit-man rebirthed. Thereafter – God Himself lives in us.

That is the true meaning of Pentecost. More than 25 centuries after Ezekiel God is saying: And I will put my Spirit in you…

This infilling, full baptism takes place by invitation only. The Holy Spirit is a true gentleman. He will not come uninvited. The promise is for all – let it be clear. Acts 2:39:

The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”

A friendly reminder who those are whom the Lord will call.

2 Peter 3:9:

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

The process of rebirth is repentance and water baptism – a blessed identification with Christ in His death and resurrection according to Romans 6:1-4. Ask God to fill you with His Spirit. We need the power to overcome our obstacles and to be prayer warriors in an age where true Christianity is tested.

Rejoice in this ancient Feast that celebrated the beginning of the harvest. On the day of Pentecost after Jesus’ ascension, the first fruits of the church were celebrated. We are the labourers that are harvesting in God’s field. We need the power; we need the indwelling of God Himself.

John the Baptist acknowledged Jesus as the One baptizing with the Holy Spirit and with fire. Nothing is possible without Jesus. He is the source of everything. Only through His blood we are cleansed and prepared for the indwelling of God Himself.

On the day of Pentecost the people heard the disciples speak with many tongues. God destroyed evil ambition and pride with the confusion in language at the Tower of Babel and united His church with language on the day of Pentecost. The different tongues of the Holy Spirit, the interpretation thereof, gifts of miracles, healing, discerning of spirits, our words of prophecy, faith, wisdom and knowledge are given to us where ever and for whatever the need may be.

1 Corinthians 12:13:

For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.

Be aware of the amazing power to our disposal for our lives and those around us. We are never a victim of our circumstances. We have the power of God in us and we are in prayer-control of our lives within a broken world.

Till next time – be greatly blessed.

11. Go on, open up – it is all yours!

Boom met geskenke

Over most of the world the Christmas trees are up and on. Here in Canada December are marked by long dark hours and every lit tree makes a difference. In all the shops everything around the Feast of Light becomes more beautiful every year. It is with delight that I enjoy the wide variety of talent of a creative world around Christmas, decorating and beautifying to celebrate the coming of the Light of the World. That creativity is God in us; no doubt in my heart about that, although I know not everybody acknowledges that, since not everyone has faith. [2 Thessalonians 3:2].

I have long ago decided to shake off my irritation over the over-commercialization of Christmas and enjoy the cooperation of the most unexpected participants. I marvel at the size and splendour of Christmas trees in so-called pagan societies and countries where Christians are far in the minority. All over the world this day is celebrated with light and a focus on gift-giving and charity. It is, after all, inevitable. The world must hear the Story. In the history of all mankind there is only one man who ever said the words: I am the Light of the world. For every child asking why the trees are lit and gifts exchanged, the reason is given. Giant nativity scenes in many centres tie all the bells, balls and tinsel back to that first Christmas in the manger in Bethlehem. The message goes out over anointed and un-anointed lips. Romans 10:18:

But I ask, Have they not heard? Indeed they have; for the Scripture says: Their voice [that of nature bearing God’s message] has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the far bounds of the world.

We might underestimate the work of God and the power of that invisible Kingdom that Jesus came to establish on earth when He and John the Baptist started their ministry with the very same words:

Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near. [Matthew 3:2 and 4:17] Could we ever get our minds around the full magnificence of our Father, the God of the universe? If I could stretch my brainpower to the fullest, I would not be able to comprehend the extent of the kingdom of God.

For many Christians the true meaning of Christmas is lost in the baggage of the secular interpretation of gifts and trees and everything shiny. Some even react radical and do not celebrate anymore. Others debate about the elements of the feast and try to eliminate anything “un-Christian”. The Christmas tree is often under suspicion and is thrown out of many homes. We as a family also try to stay true to the message and choose our decorations carefully.

Eugene Peterson, the translator of The Message Bible, has written beautiful Christmas poems and by it, relieved me of some stress about Christmas elements. I gladly reclaimed amongst other things, the cards and the tree and delight in their deeper meaning. He tells of the wonder of Christmas cards, which illustrate the Message in art and poetry being hand-delivered by postal services all over the world.

For us, the Christmas tree in our home is the symbol of everlasting life and victory over death. Isaiah 11:1:

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse [David’s father];

    from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.

That is the message of the tree. The branch that bears fruit is Jesus. Death is overcome. Life triumphed. The root, with no sign of life has blossomed and bore fruit. It is now the time for a joyful Christmas chant! What would it be? Allow me to suggest:

VIVIT – Latin for He lives.

Careful thought on Christmas decorations will give you the opportunity to minister to your family and friends, but first of all to the children. It is a joyful celebration, a time of peace and harmony and our Christian homes reflect the truth and deeper meaning of this time. Could we submit our words and home atmosphere to the Word of God? Let us allow the Holy Spirit to enable us to have real Spirit-filled conversations in our homes. This is our first and foremost “decorations”. James 3:17:

But the wisdom from above is first of all pure (undefiled); then it is peace-loving, courteous, considerate, gentle. It is willing to yield to reason, full of compassion and good fruits; it is wholehearted and straightforward, impartial and unfeigned; free from doubts, wavering, and insincerity.

Just when you might think that this is a tall order, change your attitude from achieving the standard to receiving the ability to conform to the Word from the Holy Spirit in you. 1 Corinthians 2:4:

And my language and my message were not set forth in persuasive, enticing and plausible words of wisdom, but they were in demonstration of the Holy Spirit and power,

[a proof by the Spirit and power of God, operating on me and stirring in the minds of my hearers the most holy emotions and thus persuading them].

We are being equipped by the Holy Spirit to choose our words wisely and clothe ourselves with the joy and peace of the season. It is not the effort that we put in that results in spiritual victory, rather the degree of surrendering our life and inner being to the working of the Spirit. This is our prayer for Christmas:

Holy Spirit, I am positioning myself to receive Your indwelling and direction. Please cleanse my heart of any sin and be welcome in my thoughts and deeds.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my firm, impenetrable Rock and my Redeemer. [Psalm 19:14 Ampl]

Prayer is faith in action. Andrew Murray, a respected theologian of the previous century, declares in his book: With Christ in the School of Prayer (strongly recommended reading*) that unanswered prayer does not exist. The adjective unanswered cannot be used with the noun prayer. God hears ALL prayer and if we think He does not answer, it is only a reflection of our own “spiritual feebleness”. When I read this, I confessed that I might have thought God didn’t hear and asked Him to forgive me for my ignorance about His true character. He is my Father and He is actively involved in my life. He will not play deaf to any request.

I would like to invite you to a Christmas night. Close your eyes and imagine yourself finding your way to the spectacular Christmas tree in your half dark home. With a little light, so as not to wake the others, you search for your name on the beautifully wrapped packages, just to find your name on ALL of them. You fall down on your knees and stare in wonder at the shapes and sizes of the wrapped glory before you. Just surrender to the magnificence and start opening – you have a lifetime – and you have received the perfect gift for every situation that might arise. Could we take a peep together? Romans 8:32:

He did not spare His own Son, but offered Him up for us all; how will He not also grant us EVERYTHING? {my emphasis}

In Luke 12:32 Jesus says:

Don’t be afraid, little flock, because your Father delights to give you the kingdom.

It is God’s delight to provide. He is never reluctant in the provision we need, rather abundant.

Hear the wonderful explanation of this Scripture in The Message:

What I’m trying to do here is get you to relax, not be so preoccupied with getting so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works.

Steep yourself in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Don’t be afraid of missing out. You’re my dearest friends! The Father wants to give you the very kingdom itself.

Are you comfortably seated in His Presence, tuned in for the joy to come. Jesus is still speaking: Luke 11:13:

If you then, evil as you are, know how to give good gifts [gifts that are to their advantage] to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask and continue to ask Him!

The Holy Spirit is the key to receiving the gifts. He will prepare you and guide you and equip you. He is the promise of the Father to Jesus. Jesus knew how utterly abandoned His followers would have felt after His departure. The Holy Sprit was God-with-us manifested in the receivers of the promise. Last words are alway important, to be absorbed and remembered. Jesus said: Acts 1:8:

But you shall receive power (ability, efficiency, and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you…

Your next step is exactly the same as those overwhelmed people on the day of Pentecost when they asked Peter: Acts 2:37-9:

Now when they heard this they were stung (cut) to the heart, and they said to Peter and the rest of the apostles,

Brethren, what shall we do?

And Peter answered them, Repent, change your views and purpose to accept the will of God in your inner selves instead of rejecting it, and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of and release from your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

For the promise of the Holy Spirit is to and for you and your children, and to and for all that are far away, even to and for as many as the Lord our God invites and bids to come to Himself.

God promises to direct even your relationship with Him. To please Him is to know Him better, to open you heart to His love and surrender to Him in prayer.

2 Peter 1:3:

Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God.

My favourite gift is wrapped in the healing wings of the Sun of Righteousness [Malachi 4:2]. This wonderful promise is only a glimpse of what is to come. God promises more than you could ever imagine or dream up in you wildest thoughts. Read 1 Corinthians 2:9,10 in The Message with me:

No one’s ever seen or heard anything like this,

Never so much as imagined anything quite like it—

What God has arranged for those who love him.

But you’ve seen and heard it because God by his Spirit has brought it all out into the open before you.

Thank you Lord for you indescribable gifts to us, giving us Your glory for our life. We thank you for Christmas and rejoice in You marvelous light.

Be blessed!

*www.path2prayer.com