Archive for December, 2012

Investing in the New Year

What if you knew today would be the last day of your life?

For some people it will be.

Would you leave a lasting legacy?

That’s my goal. Investing in heaven while living on earth.

In fact, I spent about six hours on Friday by myself asking the Lord how I could do that.

I’d like to share what I learned with you.

First, to PMTL–Pray More Talk Less. The first verses I looked at had to do with speech, and then I found several covering the same topic. Here’s the one that sticks in my mind:

“Do you see someone who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for them.” Proverbs 29:20

My desire is to be a wise woman who weeps when others weep, and laughs when others laugh. I want my speech to be beneficial, building others up in the faith like Paul says in Ephesians 4:29.

Something else the Lord taught me was to live a cross-centered-life. What I mean by that is to meditate on the cross each day and contemplate the way it speaks into my life and others. Like Jerry Bridges says, “Preach the gospel to myself.”

It’s the old, old, story that never gets old.

I just finished C. J. Mahaney’s book, “Christ Our Mediator.” It’s a gift book that can easily be read in one sitting. Mahaney shared about the full wrath of God pouring out on Christ.

Christ was obedient to His Father out of love for Him and love for us.

That’s something to be thankful for in 2013.

I also want to be known as a “grace dispenser.” I got this term from Priscilla Shirer in her book, “The Resolution for Women.” I want to be known as a woman who dispenses grace to others, especially within her family, especially when they don’t deserve it.

Just like Christ did for me at the cross.

At the end of my time alone with the Lord, I decided to sing. I opened up the hymnal and it fell open to this song. I don’t believe it was a mistake.

“Lift high the cross, the love of Christ proclaim, till all the world adore His sacred Name.”

Lifting high the cross is how I’ll invest my time this year.

What’s in your wallet?

Ask yourself this question, “If today were the last day of my life, what kind of legacy would I leave?”

Then invest my friend.

Happy New Year!

Recite Romans 3:1-9

So how was Christmas? Ready for a regular routine. Less food, more exercise?

How about joining the Recite Romans Club. Even if you do a verse a week, you’ll reap (that means receive) eternal benefits.

Here’s 3:1-9

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Investing in Heaven,Day 24-Really Seeing Jesus

I don’t know how many if any of you have followed this blog. If you have, thank you, if you haven’t, it doesn’t matter.

I’ve loved it. I’ve loved slowing down to really see Jesus. Not just the baby in the manager. That was just the middle of the story.

His story has no beginning and no ending, but it is fabulous.

For our last day together, I’d like to look just a little further in Luke. Mary and Joseph take the Baby to the temple according to the Law and there they meet a man named Simeon:

“And there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it has been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to carry out for Him the custom of the Law, then he took Him into his arms, and blessed God, and said, ‘Now Lord, You are releasing Your bond-servant to depart in peace, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen Your salvation, which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples, “A light of revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel.”‘ Luke 2:25-32 (NASB)

Three words describe Simeon: devout, righteous, and looking.

I’d love for someone to use those words to describe me.

Simeon knew there was to be a Redeemer. And he waited. Not just waited, but waited expectantly.

Let me ask you a few questions, friend. Are you looking for Jesus? Have you seen Him. Not just a shallow knowledge, but a heart knowledge? Are you expectant? Not just for this life, but for the life to come?

No one can “see” Jesus without the help of the Holy Spirit. He allows us to glimpse the glory of Christ through the pages of Scripture. I hope you’ve received a glimpse of Him through these blogs. I have.

Not only that, but are you expectantly waiting for His return. He promised it, you know.

Perhaps the oldest book of the Bible says this:

“As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth.” Job 19:25 (NASB)

When you invest in Christmas, you invest in eternity.

Where’s your investment going? On this earth that will one day burn up? Or are you investing all that you are and all that you hope to be in eternity?

I hope so.

It’s sound.

It’s wise.

Because investing in Christmas always leads to the cross.

Have a Merry Christmas! I love you.

Here’s another great song to end our Investing in Christmas journey:

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Investing in Christmas, Day 23-Points to Ponder

Our story is almost finished.

Christ was born in a stable. Shepherds stood in awe.

And Mary pondered. Here’s that famous passage:

“So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this chid, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” Luke 2:16-19 (NIV)

Not much pondering going on lately. Too loud. We’re too busy.

The Hebrew word has several meanings, but in this instance it means according to the, “to bring together in one’s mind, confer with one’s self.”

She had a lot to think about. Scripture says that she treasured those thoughts, too.

No Dropbox. No iPhone. No flash drives. Just memories.

I hope that during our time of investing in Christmas you’ve pondered the magnitude of the Christmas message.

Here’s another passage of Scripture to ponder today, friend.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not over come it.” John 1:1-5 (NIV)

The Baby born to be the King is the light of the world.

Enjoy Amy again.

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Investing in Christmas, Day 22-A Third Birth Announcement

Shepherds. The “underclassmen” of Jewish society.

Dirty, filthy, long hours. Definitely not union.

Yet, a nativity scene wouldn’t be complete without at least one because God Almighty chose to announce the most important event in history to them.

“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the pople. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’

“Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.’” Luke 2:8-14 (NIV)

The angels didn’t appear in Jerusalem–that would have been better marketing. Humble shepherds were the chosen ones to hear the heavenly announcement and be the first to visit Jesus.

And contrary to popular Christmas Carols, they didn’t sing. They praised God and spoke. It might have sounded like music. Great music.

I’d love to have been there, wouldn’t you?

When I think of heaven,I imagine being able to go back in time and watch scenes just like that one.

The angel announces a Savior. Again, the questions begs, Saved from what?

I’m reciting Romans right now. R2

I’m in the third chapter that contains a famous verse. The context is Paul explaining to both Jews and Greeks that both need salvation found only in Christ through faith–not through the Law.

Think about the Christmas story as you read these verses:

“But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. The righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:21-24 (NIV)

The Good News announced to the shepherds is not about a baby, it’s about a Savior. A perfectly obedient, humble, loving, powerful, God-Man.

I weep for joy at the thought of it.

I have an important question for you;if the world would have ended today, where would you be?

The Bible is clear. Faith in Christ’s sacrificial death and submission to Him as King is the Only way to heaven.

I can’t wait.

Make sure about your eternal destiny, friend.

For today’s song, I cannot pass up one of my favorites. Enjoy and worship.

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