Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
I don’t know about you, but my Christmas just didn’t last long enough. It’s my absolute favorite time of the year and I can understand why we would want to rush into it, but it makes no sense to then speed through it and be done with it before we even have time to catch our breath. The whole idea that Christmas is about love and peace and giving should make us want to drag it out as long as we possibly can. But, in what can only be explained as our unrecognized self-loathing, we never seem to allow ourselves time to fully reflect on what the season means. At least this seems to be true on a societal level; if not on each and every individual’s own personal level. Why do we prevent ourselves from carrying the love of Christ with us each and every day of the year? What causes us to relegate our outward recognition of Christ’s birth and the purpose for that birth to a one-day celebration that is basically driven by commercial extravagance and a lack of true understanding for the greatest gift we have ever received?
For some, it is simple unbelief. If you don’t believe in Christ, then it just makes sense that you have nothing to celebrate during the Christmas season and the whole thing probably just gets on your nerves. But what about the poor souls who claim to believe, but refuse to experience the true joy of the Christmas season? We know better, so what’s our problem? For me, I can say that my problem used to be that I simply had no understanding of who Christ was and what He had really done for me. Years of false teachings and sugar-coated spirituality kept me from having a realistic grasp on what it must have meant for Christ to be born at that moment in time and how His whole ministry and crucifixion was all planned before His birth.
For years, I thought being a Christian was a waste of time. I couldn’t see the purpose in Christ’s ministry because I had been taught to follow what the men of a particular church saw as the most important things; conformity and legalism. It was only recently, through a variety of teachers, that I learned the meaning of grace. And now that I know this, I am pretty sure I never would have completely understood the concept had I lived under the rules of my former teachers. Under their laws, I had no opportunity to understand what it means to fall flat on my face and then to be lifted up by the healing and forgiving power of Christ. I had no opportunity to feel the emotions that God gave me the ability to feel without fear of retribution. I had no opportunity to step out in faith because every move I made was under their scrutiny and if I strayed even a step, the message I got was that I would never be more than an unworthy, backslidden wretch who had no purpose in this life. That is decidedly not what Christ intended.
He wants you to feel. He wants you to think. He wants you to put your eyes on Him and take a step forward into the unknown with the knowledge that He will hold your hand through anything. And yes, He will forgive you if you make a mistake. He will forgive you if you miss your call. He will forgive you if you can’t quite get it right the first ten times or so. His glory is shown through our weakness. He delights in being called on to pick us up and dust us off after we’ve done a major face plant in life’s muddiest potholes. Not that He enjoys seeing us fail; but that He seeks our love and our trust and He wants to be able to fix what is broken in us. And not just in that twelve days or so where we are in the “Christmas Spirit,” this is every day, every hour, every minute, every second. Every breath we take and through any and all trials we face.
If you haven’t figured out why He is so important yet, I challenge you to seek answers this year. Don’t let another day pass without knowing what He’s really about. If you haven’t found a good church; one that isn’t beating you over the head with a message that tells you how unworthy you are or one that places too much emphasis on being like each other and not enough emphasis on being like Christ, then tune in to some of the great teachers you can find online or on television. I recommend Joyce Meyer, Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer and Creflo Dollar. Or you can just sit down and read your Bible with an open mind and an open heart and ask God to give you the wisdom you seek. If you truly seek Him, you will find Him. He’s just waiting for you to realize that His love is always right there for you.
I pray blessings, peace, and wisdom over you this year and that you would have the guidance, the protection, the provision and the healing power of Christ in your life. If you hear nothing else I say this lifetime, please hear this, “There is no better gift than the love of Christ and it is free for everyone at all times.”
God bless you and Happy New Year!
Please feel free to contact me if you would like to learn more about what I’m sharing here, talk about your beliefs, or if you’re simply trying to sort things out. This blog is meant to encourage, but I am also able to mentor those who wish to develop a new relationship with Christ and I would be happy to pray with you, pray for you, to help you get started on your journey or help you get back on track. Just e-mail me here.
My name is Rebecca Benston. I’m a Christian. I’m a woman. I’m a mother. I’m a writer. I’m a thinker. When I write fiction, I am usually writing a mystery series called The Rona Shively Stories. My P.I. character, Rona Shively is feisty, fearless and fabulous and is usually caught up in something she doesn’t want to be caught up in. In addition to this series, I also have a blog called Higher Ground for Life. Through this blog, I’m hoping to reach women or anyone who is seeking to develop a relationship with God and give them inspiration to get out there and follow His path for their lives!
I also have a blog called Leading the Follower. This one is my favorite. I write about religion, faith, spirituality and all that goes along with it. What we believe, what we don’t believe, what we are told to believe and how society feels about believing in general. I do a lot of testifying here and some of what I say may make you angry. Most of it will make you think. Some of it will make you cry. Any of it could make you laugh. It’s really up to you.
If you are looking for practical advice, honest conversation, and no nonsense observations about living in today’s world, check out my blogs at http://highergroundbooksandmedia.com and http://www.ronashively.wordpress.com and http://www.highergroundforlife.wordpress.com and http://www.leadingthefollower.wordpress.com. And if you’re so inclined, you can purchase my books and some other great, inspirational works from Higher Ground Books & Media at http://highergroundbooksandmedia.com.