“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. (9) And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. (10) And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. (11) For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. (12) And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. (13) And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, (14) Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. (15) And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. (16) And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.” Luke 2:8-16
Hello everyone and Merry Christmas! I am so happy that you have stopped by to spend Christmas Day with me! I pray that your day is going well and that you are truly experiencing the true gift of Christmas, which is Jesus Christ!
You know…it seems like the world has become so caught up in the materialistic part of Christmas; that this alone has taken away the old fashioned spirit of Christmas. We spend lots of money to buy gifts that eventually break down or get stored away or even forgotten, while we completely bypass a gift that is eternal…a gift that never breaks down and a gift that longs to keep on giving.
As I look back…thousands of years ago, I think on a God, who longed so much, to show us a genuine love; that He wrapped up His only Son, Jesus Christ in swaddling clothes and sent Him to us as a very special gift; that with time, we might allow this gift of love to be opened up within the heart. Even though the wrapping on this gift wasn’t anything special; it was what was inside the wrapping; that became a rare and valuable gift.
This gift that came to us, so long ago is a gift that not only brings love and great joy to our hearts but when unwrapped within the heart; it continues to work on our behalf, in a way that no other gift can do. This gift doesn’t require batteries and it doesn’t require any assembly. It’s a gift that not only brings instant happiness and joy but it’s also a gift that gives us strength and renewed hope everyday…that is, if we are willing to let this gift serve its purpose.
Once we have chosen to accept this gift from God and we have allowed the gift to be opened within the heart; we soon find that this gift continues to work on our behalf. We also find that this gift never wears out with time and it continues to keep giving…through our everyday lives and even through the trials we may face.
What makes this gift so valuable; is that it can work in ways that no other store bought gift can do. Have you ever had a gift that can love you, in a very unconditional way? Have you ever had a gift that would be there for you, when others walked away? Have you ever had a gift that could turn a bad situation around into something better…and most of all, have you had a gift that could forgive you and offer you an eternal life…free from all pain and suffering?
I don’t know about you but this Christmas and every Christmas to come…I choose the true gift of Christmas, over any gift that may come from a store because you see…I want the gift that will keep giving, even until I take my final step into heaven.
Today…we need to put Christ back into Christmas. For Keith and I, there are no gifts this Christmas because we have a gift that satisfies our every need and we know that with time; this gift will continue to open up other gifts within our lives…gifts that can keep us disconnected from the world and closely connected to the One, who sent His only begotten Son into this world; that whosoever believeth in that gift of love, should not perish but have everlasting life.
Have you checked out the best gift you could ever receive this Christmas? One thing I can say to you; is that it’s the greatest gift I’ve ever received and it has a warranty that lasts for all of eternity. My prayer today; is that we all will reach out and accept the true gift of Christmas; that we may be able to experience the fullness of this gift, for many years to come.
Merry Christmas & God bless!
It’s Always & Only Because of Him…
“And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, (27) to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. (28) And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. (29) And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. (30) And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. (31) And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. (32) He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: (33) And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. (34) Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? (35) And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. (36) And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. (37) For with God nothing shall be impossible. (38) And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.” Luke 1:26-38
Hello everyone and welcome back to “Sunday Inspiration!” I am so happy to have you here today! It’s hard to believe that we are only a week away from Christmas! You know…we can find it so easy to get wrapped up, in all that is happening around us; that we tend to lay the true meaning of Christmas to the side, which became a time, when Jesus was not only born into this world but a time when He would also grow up to be the true Messiah; that would lay down His entire life, for the sins of this world.
When we look at the Bible reading for today, we see a young girl that probably would have thought of herself, as being the last one in the world, to play such an important part as this, in the birth of the true Messiah. Mary never came from a rich family and never had the characteristics of what the people around her probably would have looked for, which actually made here unusable in their eyes; but yet God still used her.
You know…we think that we have to have great knowledge and the very best of everything to serve God but I have come to see that it’s only through a humble…lowly spirit; that God is able to rise in our stead and do a great work and I believe that this is what He was doing through Mary.
One thing I have come to see through this Bible reading; is how easily we can read something like this and just look at the story in a simple way. In other words…how many times have we read this story at Christmas…never realizing the difficult times that took place…before Jesus was even born. In fact, I believe that Satan must have tried everything he could, to stop this birth…knowing that this birth would play an important part, in defeating the works of darkness.
I’m sure that the path that Mary walked was a very difficult one but I believe that her heart was more set on obeying God and what He had desired for her life at that time. You know…what may seem impossible to us, is always possible to God, when He’s leading the way. I’m sure that Mary knew in her heart; that the road ahead of her would not be an easy one but at the same time, I’m sure that she knew what was honest and true and because of what she felt in her heart; she was determined to face any obstacle because she knew that since God has called her to do this great task for Him; that He would be there to walk her through anything.
Today, can we say that we have that same kind of faith as Mary had? Do we believe that God will walk us through the moments that He has allowed within our lives? One thing I can say about Mary; is that she not only believed in what God was doing through her but she also lived a life that showed a true faith and belief in God and what He had called her to do for Him. When we think about it…even though she knew the road probably wouldn’t be an easy one…she did believe what the angel had said to her… “For with God nothing shall be impossible.”
Have a blessed Sunday & Merry Christmas!
It’s Always & Only Because of Him…
“How long wilt thou forget me, O Lord? Forever? How long wilt thou hide thy face from me? (2) How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? How long shall mine enemy be exalted over me? (3) Consider and hear me, O Lord my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death; (4) lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved. (5) But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation. (6) I will sing unto the Lord, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.” Psalm 13
Hello everyone and welcome back to “Sunday Inspiration!” It’s so good to have you back and my prayer today; is that we will truly find a piece of hope to hold to, as we prepare to begin another new week with God.
How many of us can say that we have experienced moments in our lives, when we felt as though God had completely forgotten us? We pray and try to do what is right in the eyes of God but yet the answers to our circumstances don’t seem to come, as easily as we would like them to.
You know…we can experience moments, when we feel as if God is hiding Himself from us, as the sorrow…pain and heartache continue to walk us down a road that seems to be pointing us in the direction of total defeat.
I will never forget the long and drawn out years of pain, as I went through a series of 21knee operations, from the age of 10 years old…to around the age of 50. It seemed as though I was coming out of the doctor’s office, in the same way I went in. You see…the doctor’s really never had the answers, to a rare problem that I was born with, in both of my knees. Here they were trying to find a way to keep two kneecaps in place, when two joints weren’t properly formed at birth. There were times, when I wondered, if the surgeries would ever come to an end. There were many days; that I would cry out to God…begging Him to relieve me, of the pain I was experiencing.
As I went through this long and difficult time in my life, God used those years to teach me how to lean on Him, rather than focusing on the circumstance that was taking place; and over time, I came to see that when I trusted Him, rather than looking deeply into the face of the problem; that was when I began to see how He was in charge of these moments that seemed so hopeless and out of control.
Now, I live with a fused right leg (rod) and a very bad left knee but through it all, I have come to see that when I lean on God all the way; He is there to help me through the pain and even use the pain and difficulties, for His honor and glory. In fact, I have come to see that some of my best writings come from the moments of deep pain and tiredness because you see…even though God may be allowing these moments of weakness to remain; He is rising up in my place and working through my weakness. That is so amazing to me!
You know…sometimes we don’t understand, why God allows a circumstance to continue on, for a long period of time but these are not the moments, when we should let them abuse us and steal our joy; but rather, this should be the time, when we allow God to rise up through our weaknesses and work through us, in a way where He can be seen to others around us.
One thing I can say to you today; is that I am truly content, with these moments of pain that I still experience because I know that they are being used and what makes these moments even more special to my heart; is that God has chosen me to be used in this way for Him. What an honor and a privilege, to serve the Most High God, especially through moments such as these.
You know…when we can turn away from the negative moments of suffering and come to truly trust God with these difficult moments we face, I believe that we will soon find that these moments of affliction aren’t as bad, as what we first thought because you see…we now see them in a different way…a way that connects us to the true purpose that God created us to be.
Have a blessed Sunday and a great week ahead!
It’s Always & Only Because of Him…
Revelations 21:3-5… “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. (4) And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (5) And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new.
And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.”
Hello everyone and welcome back to “Sunday Inspiration!” I hope you’re ready for some great words of inspiration because God has laid something very special on my heart, to share with you today.
We all know what suffering…pain and heartache can do to a person. In fact, through my own moments of pain and heartache, I have seen how these difficult moments can truly take a toll on my mind…heart and body…and sometimes to a place, where I find myself weak and vulnerable to evil. While experiencing moments such as these; there can be times, when we wonder if we will ever truly escape the difficulties of life and be free, from the prison cell of despair; where Satan attempts to keep us.
As I have been on a journey of pain and heartache, for about 50 years now…one thing special that God has truly opened my heart up to; is the hope…that one day, I will leave this world of suffering, for an eternal home; where Satan will no longer be able to reach me and have control over my life. Just think…we as Christians will enter a place, where tears will never fall and pain will no longer be known to us. The grief and heartache that once took us down will never come to mind and the difficult moments of struggle will be lifted forever from our shoulders.
As I think about this place, where suffering will never exist; I see a picture within my mind’s eye. In this picture, I see a staircase that I have traveled on, for many long years. Sometimes the steps have been easy to climb, while others have been steep and almost impossible to get up to; but as I continue the climb, through moments of pain and sometimes deep heartache; I know in my spirit that this journey has to have an end…a place, where the small glimpse of hope that I once held tightly to, will now lead me to a place of eternal peace.
As my journey continues on…I see the final step approaching me. I am relieved, as I now see Jesus standing there…waiting for me, as I finish the climb. As I approach the place where Jesus is; I begin to cry for one last time, as I am overwhelmed by His presence. As I fall before Him…He reaches down and lifts me to my feet and wipes the final tear from my eye. From there, He places His arm around me and welcomes me to my new home. As I look down to my knees…the scars that once revealed many years of deep pain are no longer there and the rod that once stiffened my leg is gone. I begin to run around and enjoy this new body that no longer has control over my life.
As I enter further into the gates of heaven…all I feel is peace and the memories of deep heartache that always seemed to stay with me, have now left my thoughts. As I leave the past life, of pain and heartache behind…heaven’s doors begin to shut for good. I am safe now with God, for all of eternity and no matter how hard Satan knocks on heaven’s door, I know in my heart; that he will never be able to have control over me…ever again.
You know…we all have times, when we feel, as if these moments of suffering will never come to an end. The symptoms of our pain and deep heartache, can attempt to convince us; that we will never find hope in anything again; but today, I want you to now; that there is a hope to hold to and that hope comes from a God, who is working to prepare a place, where we will be able to escape these difficult moments…brought on by Satan….for all of eternity.
For the one, who has truly placed their life in the hand of God and believes in Him, with all their heart; that will be the person, who will one day find eternal peace…from all the pain and heartache that Satan attempts to destroy us with.
If you haven’t experienced this gift of hope, by knowing Jesus Christ as your personal Savior…first you must admit that you are a sinner…in need of a Savior…a Savior, who can cleanse your heart from sin and forgive you, while giving you a new start at life. All you have to do is pray and acknowledge this before God and He will begin to give you a new life that will place you on a path; that will eventually lead you to a place called Heaven.
Have a blessed Sunday and may you truly experience the hand of God upon you, as you begin another new week!
It’s Always & Only Because of Him…
Risen Hope Ministries Blog | Sunday Inspiration
About the Author
Diane K Hiltz Chamberlain is the author of 16 books, which range from devotionals, to quotes and poetry...to the story on her life..."Baby Steps: A Journey with God through a Lifetime of Pain and Heartache."