Tag Archive | worthy

Jesus: The Real Deal

704630_443730492347160_1248831165_oI just saw an article titled Santa Claus: The Great Imposter. And while I didn’t read it, the title brought me to Scripture within seconds. As my husband knows, one thought leads to another, and to another and so on. So here goes…

  1. Who is he a substitute for? Jesus
  1. Why would he be a substitute for Him? Because people believe they know the story of a real man who did kind and thoughtful things for children (people) and they want to be like him. We can put him on a pedestal as a great example. And while we can say that in a way Jesus did the same thing, He (Jesus) requires something of us that Santa Claus (St Nicholas) doesn’t: Submission. We can do things that are like Santa Claus such as give gifts and be jolly, but he doesn’t set a standard of how we are to live our lives otherwise. Fun is as far as Christmas needs to go.
  1. Very quickly, my mind was brought to Scripture.

“What I mean is this: One of you says, ‘I follow Paul’; another, ‘I follow Apollos’; another, ‘I follow Cephas’; still another, ‘I follow Christ.’ Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul?” 1 Corinthians 1:12-13

“For when one says, ‘I follow Paul,’ and another, ‘I follow Apollos,’ are you not mere human beings?  What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task.” 1 Corinthians 3:4-5

When we choose to imitate Santa Claus, whether we believe he was a real human being or an ideal picture of a generous grandfather figure, we imitate a man who was a mere human being or even less, a thought or idea. We may be imitating someone who was possibly a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ, but still just a person like you and me. In truth, we should be worshiping, celebrating and imitating the true Lord and Savior. This means our service does not stop at a Christmas gift or meal for the sake of being nice and thoughtful, but continues through to the purpose and message of the Gospel.

God gave us the greatest gift ever given: His Son Jesus Christ who came to die for our sins and be raised to new life, so that we could be made right with God and enjoy eternal life with Him. At Christmas, we celebrate the beginning of God’s plan of reconciliation becoming a reality. We worship Him and Him alone. We submit our lives to Him out of reverence for who He is, not just the nice things He’s done.

God has been growing me through the season and celebration of Christmas. Every year I remove more of the Santa figures and ornaments I’ve had in our house. Some are fancy, some are sweet. Some have fond memories tied to them as gifts from various people in my life. It can be hard to remove things that seem harmless on the surface, maybe even good. But when I make someone else the center of a celebration that belongs to God, I set up a false idol – an imposter. Jesus Christ is the real deal and is worthy of my sole attention.

Who will you celebrate this Christmas? Where will your attention be focused? Will you settle for and spread the lies of an imposter or will you rejoice in and share the truth of the Savior? Christmas focused on Santa falls short of the glory of God shown through His Son, Jesus Christ.

 

Prepare Your Heart for Christ: The Christmas Reason available now!

PCH Front Cover

Do you know you’re beautiful?

IMG_1779 (2)“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.'”

– 1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV)

As I was getting ready for the day looking at myself in the mirror and thinking about an upcoming meeting with some people I had not yet met, I found myself wondering if I had the right “look”.

I’ve started thinking about coloring my hair again. It’s been five years and I’ve grown comfortable and content with my own color. But maybe it would help …

Then I noticed the scar on my nose. I had already bleached the tooth my daughter accidentally knocked when she jumped with excitement right into my jaw breaking the root. Maybe I should see what I could do about the scar. I’ve had the scar for eight years and rarely notice it anymore, but maybe …

I do want to lose some weight, exercise and eat better. I’ve been working on this and have been more on than off lately. Maybe some new clothes and shoes. I’m on the short side. Maybe I should think about what might make me look taller … thinner …

And the list could go on and on and on.

When I think of being seen, I worry about how I will measure up. Maybe no one will even notice me. Am I worth noticing?

The simple answer is yes.

“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”

– Philippians 1:6 (ESV)

God has noticed me. He says I’m worthy of notice. God sees beneath my outward appearance and looks lovingly on my heart toward Him. He sees every flaw and loves me still. His work consists of not an outward fix but an inward change. He corrects the attitudes and problems in my heart that affect my outward ability to reflect His love.

And through all of this He says I’m worth His effort.

I don’t know if I’ll color my hair. I’m sure I won’t mess with the scar. I love to shop so maybe if I have some success with my healthier lifestyle I’ll treat myself to something special. And being short just helps me engage in conversation when I need to ask for help with something way up high on a shelf.

But I do know that I will continue to let God work on my heart helping me be more gentle and quiet in spirit. Helping me understand from where and whom my true beauty comes. And helping me to see people, showing me their hearts beneath the look they try to put on. We’re all trying to measure up to someone’s standard of beauty. Who’s standard will you look to?

Something to Consider…

Do you struggle with your appearance? Have others noticed your flaws more than your beauty? Know that God did make you beautiful. Ask Him to help you see yourself through HIS eyes.

Do you do the simple work of caring for yourself, your physical self as well as your mental and emotional self? Jesus Christ died for you just as you are, but  if you’re neglecting yourself, you’re not caring for the gift He has given you. He has made you for a purpose. Help yourself be ready and able to do all He has called you to do.

What do you notice first about others? Do you look at them and make judgments before you meet them? It may be human nature but know that’s not God’s nature. In Christ, we can see others from His perspective. Challenge yourself to see the beauty within first.