Christmas: A Season of Forgiveness

by BJ Robinson

“… If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” John 8:7 NIV

How many people will be lonely this Christmas season because they refuse to forgive or let go and give their burdens to God? When I was but a young girl, Mother used to use an old proverb and say, “People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones at others.”  It seemed to me that she spoke in riddles when at times she was actually quoting the Bible, but she also used what we called ‘old sayings’ or proverbs.

I’d have to ask her what she meant, and she’d explain that we shouldn’t judge others when we do the same things ourselves or make the same mistakes. It really hurts when someone you thought were a friend just stops talking to you with no explanation. You’re left to wonder what you did wrong. All you can do is let it go and give it to God, forgive.

This time of year, there are so many lonely people in the world. One never knows when it will be their last Christmas on earth. It’s hard to forgive, but it’s even harder when someone dies, and you didn’t mend a relationship before they did. Don’t let that happen to you. Mend those fences because relationships are more important than what caused the break.

Christmas can be a haunting season without forgiveness. Let the Holy Spirit guide and direct you and make it a season of love and forgiveness. Treasure family and friends while you have them.

I watched Dolly Patron’s new Christmas show the other night, and it broke my heart when the actress was told she couldn’t accept her gift from that evil woman. The young girl who played the part of Dolly is awesome and perfect for the part. I was glad to see that she got her shiny, red shoes at the end. Yes, they were just a material item, but it hurt worse to see Dolly trying to give a gift that the other lady refused. The one both women were hurting was the child. Be humble and full of grace and accept those gifts of mended relationships. You never know how much time you have left. As Jesus said, “Go and sin no more.”

Note from Author:  May you and yours be wrapped in love and forgiveness this holiday season. God bless. As Mom used to say, “Don’t be the one to cast that first stone.”

B. J. RobinsonBio: B. J. Robinson loves reading and writing, family, and pets. She’s authored over twenty books, available for the Amazon Kindle. BJ writes inspirational, historical romance, and romantic suspense. She loves writing in various genres to provide choice for her readers. You will also find inspirational, contemporary, short stories, and novellas available as well as Christmas titles. Put on some Christmas music and check out her Amazon Author page for a larger selection as well as her Christmas titles. http://www.amazon.com/B.-J.-Robinson/e/B007DNJIKU/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1449417151&sr=1-2-ent 

True Humility Revealed

True Humility Revealed

by Charles Haddon Spurgeon

He that humbleth himself shall be exalted. (Luke 18:14)

It ought not to be difficult for us to humble ourselves, for what have we to be proud of? We ought to take the lowest place without being told to do so. If we are sensible and honest, we shall be little in our own eyes. Especially before the Lord in prayer we shall shrink to nothing. There we cannot speak of merit, for we have none; our one and only appeal must be to mercy: “God be merciful to me a sinner.”

Here is a cheering word from the throne. We shall be exalted by the Lord if we humble ourselves. For us the way upward is downhill. When we are stripped of self we are clothed with humility, and this is the best of wear. The Lord will exalt us in peace and happiness of mind; He will exalt us into knowledge of His Word and fellowship with Himself; He will exalt us in the enjoyment of sure pardon and justification. The Lord puts His honors upon those who can wear them to the honor of the Giver. He gives usefulness, acceptance, and influence to those who will not be puffed up by them but will be abased by a sense of greater responsibility. Neither God nor man will care to lift up a man who lifts up himself; but both God and good men unite to honor modest worth.

O Lord, sink me in self that I may rise in Thee.

If you would like to have your own copy of Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening Devotionals click on the pic below.

Spurgeon's Morning and Evening Devotional

A Change of Heart

by Ruth O’Neil

Too often we look for a change in the conditions which we are in, when what we really need is a change of attitude. If I were to be completely honest, I sometimes need to change of attitude myself. As a mom, it wasn’t particularly uncommon for me to tell my children they needed to change their attitudes. My kids needed a change of attitude at times, they could sit there and whine about doing their schoolwork – which wasn’t going to change the fact that it had to be done – or they could change their attitudes, realizing that if they would just focus, it wouldn’t take long to do it. They might have been grumpy. They might have been dragging their feet about something they needed to do. They might have been fighting with each other or arguing with me. If a household chore needed attention they could ignore it and come back to it later in a worse state, or change their attitude and just do it. Whatever the circumstances were, they needed to rethink, and change, the way they were handling it.

There are plenty of times, more than I care to admit, when I could handle situations so much better if I change the way I looked at the problem. But sometimes, a change of attitude goes hand-in-hand with a change of heart. You might think these are the same, but they’re not. The Bible tells us that, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh” (Matthew 12:34 KJV). If our hearts are in the right place, we won’t just spew ugliness out of our mouths.

Think about Paul. He had a thorn in the flesh. We don’t know exactly what it was, but we do know that he asked God repeatedly to remove it. I imagine that when Paul first began asking, there was probably an attitude problem. I would’ve probably been the same with lots of begging and tears. As Paul grew closer to the Lord, he began to have a change of heart, which turn affected his attitude. No matter what the circumstances are that you face today, know that you can go to God and request a change in your heart and in your attitude.

Paul tells us, after mentioning his flesh, God told him. “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV).

God wants to carry your burdens. He wants us to come to Him for strength and comfort. It is when we learn to completely hand over to Him all of our difficulties, hardships, concerns, and troubles, knowing that He will take care of them, is when we truly have a change of attitude. You will feel a difference within yourself. Your attitude will be better, your heart will be lighter, no matter what the circumstances are.

Hand your troubles over to God and allow Him to give you a change of heart today.

About the Author:

Ruth OneilRuth O’Neil has been writing for over 20 years. She has published hundreds of articles in numerous publications. She loves to touch the emotions when she writes. “If I can make one person laugh or cry, I’ll consider myself successful.” Her first novel “Come Eat at My Table” has just come out in ebook form and can be purchased on her website. She homeschools her three children (well, one now, as two have graduated). She and her husband have been married for 20-plus years. In her spare time she enjoys quilting, crafting, and reading. You can visit her on her blog at ruths-real-life (dot)blogspot.com or her website at ruthoneil (dot)weebly.com

Encounter Life in Christ

Encounter Life in Christ

by Rebekah Beene

There were encounters with church I had as a child. Although my parents didn’t attend church until I was much older, they allowed me to attend here and there. I have discovered that church is a great place to learn the Word and learn more about the Lord. But life is where you learn to lean on the Lord and find His place for you in the world. If we’re not careful we will find our place of acceptance but miss our place of worship.

Oh beloved, God sees you. He knows you’ve tried hard to find your place. You want to fit in and you’ve done a lot of things to make it so. Yet you are still searching. Your heart is still longing for something more. This morning the Lord wants you to know that relationship with Him is your heart’s desire. Nothing else will do. You may learn a lot, but as you learn to lean on the Father you will find your life will become peaceful and you will feel that you are where you should be. Church one day a week won’t do for you what relationship with God every day will do. Outside the walls of the building you can still enjoy salvation, justification, and more. You are perfected in Christ. And the Holy Spirit has sealed the deal for you – by residing in you – you carry the glory of God everywhere you go.

This is amazing! No more worries about fitting in because God has fit you for Himself! No more wishing you could be different because Christ has made you brand new! No more hoping you find purpose and meaning for Holy Spirit has sealed you for the Kingdom!

God loves you and He is for you! So much that He’s welcomed you into His household of faith with open arms! You belong! You are perfect for heaven and God’s plans for you are huge! Rejoice and run to Him this morning and thank Him that His plans will be completed as you live in the Light of His Presence and Purpose!

Isaiah 4:10 ‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ 

Romans 3:22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. 

2 Corinthians 3:4 We are confident of all this because of our great trust in God through Christ.

About the Author:

Rebekah Beene

In a Christian Women’s meeting in 1983, Rebekah was given a prophetic message that she would write books. Several years ago she began writing stories about special holiday memories and travels, sharing God’s love and care through each story. God has gifted Rebekah with the ability to look at the natural and see the supernatural. Both Rebekah and her husband Danny have a heart to share the Gospel and the riches of life in Christ to everyone they meet. They have served in the local church and in ministry to motorcyclists. Danny is an ordained minister and they both have been Bible study teachers for many years. Rebekah also speaks at women’s retreats and conferences. Her tag line says it all “God loves you and He’s for you”.

My website is http://rebekahbeene.wordpress.com

My first book in print is Oh Beloved! Live in the Light of His Word.
Link to buying the book via paypal is on the website.
As well a link to purchasing the ebook on Amazon is there too.
I’m also on twitter @rebekahbeene, tumblr http://rebekah-beene.tumblr.com/
and of course facebook as Rebekah Beene (Warren) I included my maiden name for old friends.
Earnest

Earnest

by Precarious Yates

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. – Matthew 13:44

This past summer, my husband and I sold our house. During the process of the sale (which was stressful—why is it always stressful?) the buyers expressed their desire for the house by presenting us with earnest money. They would never get that money back, even if the sale fell through—that was part of the deal. It was a risk.

When we were buying the house, several years prior, we also presented earnest money. This was a very big risk for us. We spent the money we’d have to pay for future rent as earnest money for the purchase of a house. If the sale fell through, we would have missed rent payments and would have been evicted. But we REALLY wanted that house.

It was almost like a bet, a crazy gamble, but we got to do our part to fight for a favorable outcome. We presented earnest money. So instead of a gamble, it was more like a battle. A battle for my family to have a home.

There was a much more fierce and earnest battle a couple millennia ago, one where something of far greater value than US dollars was spent, and something of far greater value than a house was purchased.

you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. – 1 Peter 1:18-19

You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

And there was an earnest deposit to show just how much He desires to have you with Him. In His house. Forever.

ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

Ephesians 1:13-14 KJV

Yes, you are that valuable to Him!

Let it sink in. Allow this truth to bathe you.

If I have learned anything over the years, it’s that the one who has a love of that magnitude also has a beauty that is fully worth consideration. Since He loves with that much devotion, let us turn our eyes to Him. And ask.

Why?

How?

And, can I love You back?

Because you and I have that Earnest deposit, the Holy Spirit, we can love Him back.

God bless you!

Precarious Yates

About the Author:

Precarious YatesPrecarious Yates has lived in 8 different states of the Union and 3 different countries, but currently lives in Texas with her husband, her daughter and their one mastiff and four Pyrenees dogs, three sheep and nine chickens. When she’s not writing, she enjoys music, teaching, playing on jungle gyms and reading. She holds a masters in the art of making tea and coffee and a PhD in Slinky® disentangling.