My prayer this Christmas season was that it would be different. A season where God showed up and changed me. I did not want to be the same. I love how God hears our prayers and loves to answer us. He has definitely answered my prayer for change and has continued to work within me what it means to have my hands open and face up, following Him with a radical YES. Here is a bit of what God has been weaving into the fibers of my heart this Advent Season thru the sermons at church & reading thru The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp.
The name has power. It makes me pause. It makes me stop. It slows me down.
Do I believe that God is with me?
The answer changes perspective.
Immanuel ushers in Grace.
Receive His grace. Grace that changes. Grace that loosens my hands. Grace that stirs my heart to be outrageous with the treasures HE has given to be a blessing. HIS grace has changed me. Turned my life upside down.
“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 (NLT)
Peace at whatever comes, in whatever comes. Peace in the darkest of storms and busiest of seasons.
The source of Joy is JESUS. Immanuel. Jesus had joy when he endured the cross. Joy – thankfulness and trust in Jesus no matter the circumstances. Belief that God has a plan and I am to trust in Him.
Jesus love is powerful. It breaks down the strongest wall, propels the highest mountain. It sees people differently. The lens of love shifts perspective. Compels us to live outrageously. To give outrageously. To love outrageously.
God’s hope fills. Strengthens. Changes everything. Hope overflows, flowing joy, peace, and love out for all.
His hope, His grace changes. It has changed me. It is changing me.
The gift of Jesus; the best Christmas gift of the season. Each moment I have is an opportunity to walk with and in that gift. The gift of Jesus. Jesus is the center of Christmas. He created us knowing He would become one of us. He loved us that much. He desired that relationship. He has been at work throughout the centuries to come to the moment of incarnation. To grow up. To die on the Cross. To give me the gift of grace. I need to accept. Receive. Let it flood my heart. Loosely holding on to the to do lists & expectations of the day. Eager to see where Jesus show’s up.
Grace changes everything. Grace loosens my hands. Melts my heart. Changes my vision. Grace is changing me to see Jesus everywhere and in everyone.
A Christmas filled with peace, joy, love, hope, and grace – not loneliness, heartache, sadness, or an empty void.
Immanuel. God with me.
It is the Best Christmas ever.