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Marvelous Love

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May your roots go down deep in to the soil of God’s marvelous love. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love really isEphesians 3:18 (NLT)

On a cold Christmas Eve in 1952, when Korea was in the throes of civil war, one young woman struggled along a village street, obviously soon to deliver a child. She pleaded with passersby,

“Help me! Please. My baby.”

No one paid any attention to her.

A middle-aged couple walked by. The wife pushed away the young mother and sneered,

“Where’s the father? Where’s your American man now?”

The couple laughed and went on.

The young woman almost doubled up from a contraction as she watched them go.

“Please . . .” she begged.

She had heard of a missionary living nearby who might help her. Hurriedly, she began walking to that village. If only he would help her baby. Shivering and in pain, she struggled over the frozen countryside. But the night was so cold. Snow began to fall. Realizing that the time was near to deliver her baby, she took shelter under a bridge. There, alone, her baby was born on Christmas Eve.

Worried about her newborn son, she took off her own clothes, wrapped them around the baby and held him close in the warm circle of her arms.

The next day, the missionary braved the new snow to deliver Christmas packages. As he walked along, he heard the cry of a baby. He followed the sound to a bridge. Under it, he found a young mother frozen to death, still clutching her crying new born son. The missionary tenderly lifted the baby out of her arms.

When the baby was 10 years old, his now adoptive father told him the story of his mother’s death on Christmas Eve.

The young boy cried, realizing the sacrifice his mother had made for him.

The next morning, the missionary rose early to find the boy’s bed empty. Seeing a fresh set of small footprints in the snow outside, he bundled up warmly in a winter coat and followed the trail. It led back to the bridge where the young mother had died.

As the missionary approached the bridge, he stopped, stunned. Kneeling in the snow was his son, naked and shivering uncontrollably. His clothes lay beside him in a small pile. Moving closer, he heard the boy say through chattering teeth:

“Mother, were you this cold for me?”

That story reminds me of another mother and Son who sacrificed so much. One winter night, Jesus left his home, His glory and the warmth of heaven to be born in a stable to an unwelcome world. Just before He was born, Mary, His mother, was not welcome in any of the cozy inns in Bethlehem. Instead, she delivered her baby in the darkness of a cold stable. Th e Creator of the Universe, the Perfect Judge who could destroy the world with a single word, was willing to endure this inauspicious beginning for you and me. That is unconditional love!

We who have experienced God’s unconditional love are commanded to share that love with others. John writes in 1 John 4:11,

Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other” (New Living Translation).

God wants us to express His supernatural love to others. We become examples of God’s love to the world as we love our neighbors through the enabling of His Holy Spirit.

My prayer for you is the same as Paul’s prayer for the believers in Ephesians 3:17,18:

May your roots go down deep in to the soil of God’s marvelous love. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love really is” (NLT ) .

You may confess, “I don’t have that kind of love to share with anyone.” To experience God’s supernatural love, claim it by faith. We have the potential to love anyone God puts in our path. One of the greatest lessons I have learned in my Christian life is “how to love by faith.”

When we by faith invite God’s unconditional love to flow through us, we will discover a rekindled love that is alive and well. That is true for an “unlovable” spouse, boss, employee, or anyone.

Nothing breaks the hardened ground of unforgiveness and bitterness like sincere acts and words of love. Sometimes you and I, by faith, must take the first step of restoration. A positive response may not be immediate, but keep on loving and reaching out. There is no power on earth stronger than God’s supernatural love.

by Bill Bright


Would you like to know Jesus?
You can have peace and find hope and know forgiveness through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

You can receive Christ right now by faith through prayer. Praying is simply talking to God. God knows your heart and is not so concerned with your words as He is with the attitude of your heart. Here’s a suggested prayer:

Lord Jesus, I want to know You personally. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life to You and ask You to come in as my Saviour and Lord. Take control of my life. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Bring peace to my world this Christmas. Make me the kind of person You want me to be.

If this prayer expresses the desire of your heart, pray it right now and Christ will come into your life as He promised. If you invited Jesus Christ into your life, thank God often that He is in your life, that He will never leave you and that you have eternal life.

If you prayed this prayer we would love to hear from you . If you would like to know God deeper we can connect you with an email mentor and/or send you some great links.

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Comments: If you don’t see our response form, please go to http://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/bill-bright_marvelous-love/

Learn more about knowing Jesus at: http://thoughts-about-god.com/four-laws/


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I Wonder About Mary

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“…the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.’” Luke 1:30-31 (Read the whole chapter)

Have you ever known a woman who is pregnant and whose baby is due around Christmas? Along with general anxiety regarding the delivery and health of her child, I wonder about other feelings and thoughts she may have. Will she rue that his or her birthday falls so close to Christmas? Will birthday celebrations get lost or muted amidst the hubbub of late December? Will the child feel cheated for not receiving gifts during another month of the year?

These matters only matter because of the holiday. What about the first Christmas? Have you ever wondered how Mary felt? Her anticipation must have been unique.

Mary learned of her pregnancy from the angel Gabriel. I wonder what Mary thought Jesus’ birth would bring. Did she expect hosts of angels trumpeting the news? Mary likely prepared her home for the delivery, expecting to have Jesus there. Did she anticipate a painful, awkward donkey ride to her in-laws’ town of origin? Could she ever have anticipated delivery in a barn? I wonder if she pondered how her God-child would look, act, live. Would he be like most kids? Could she ever predict he would be cherished and spurned, followed and chased, worshiped and demonized? Even with the Spirit of the Lord upon her, could she know that Jesus’ birth, while humble and simple, would be celebrated by millions upon millions for millennia? Could she have known that he would die a brutal death for her and our salvation?

We see these truths through history, and look forward to celebrating them. Yet like Mary we may not be able to predict all Christmas might bring, for we do not celebrate rituals, but the Christ-child, and when He is center to the party, angels may appear.

Dear God, thank you for the model of Mary who not knowing all that was to come still entered into your plan to save the world. May my anticipation for Christmas this year be enlarged by her example. Amen.

Thought: Ask people near you what they anticipate from God this Christmas. Ask them what they think was going through Mary’s head as delivery day approached.

What are your expectations for Christmas this year?

By Dr. Bill Strom
Used by permission
www.thelife.com/dailydevotions

WE WOULD LOVE TO HEAR YOUR COMMENTS.

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Comments: If you don’t see our response form, please go to http://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/bs_mary-christmas/

Learn more about knowing Jesus at: http://thoughts-about-god.com/four-laws/


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