Archive for December, 2011

Jesus–God’s Gift of Love

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called

Wonderful Counselor,

Mighty God,

Everlasting Father,

Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end.” Isaiah 9:6-7

Did you know that these two verses, often quoted at Christmas, were written by Isaiah more than seven hundred years before Christ was born? Isaiah worked during troubling times when people had no regard for the deeds of the Lord, no respect for the work of His hands. God spoke through Isaiah to warn the people they would be exiled because of their life choices, but that He would bring hope and peace through one Man.

APPLICATION

While we celebrate the first coming of Jesus at Christmas, we prepare for His second coming. That means we respond to God’s amazing love by loving Him and others. Loving God means doing what is right and good. Sometimes that means standing alone. Have you ever had to do that? I have and I feel like the lone ranger Christian. Be encouraged! God says in Isaiah 7:9, “If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.” Hard words, but words that hold great hope and eternal life with God. How will you show God’s love this week? Will it mean that you will stand alone to do what God wants you to?

PRAYER

Father God, thank you for your incredible plan for us. Strengthen us to stand firmly in our faith and to reach out to others with your love, especially during this season when many people feel left out and lonely. Amen.

Find Rest for Your Soul

Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light,” (Matthew 28:11 NIV).

The fourth commandment of God’s Big Ten says, “Remember the Sabbath Day and keep it holy.” The Sabbath in the Old Testament, the day God rested from creation, was on Saturday. However, Jesus rose from the grave the day after the Sabbath, and today we keep that day holy. Some of your friends may not understand why you go to church and Sunday school. The post, “Jesus Loves Me,” http://sue-tornai4kids.blogspot.com/2011/05/jesus-loves-me.html, is based on a true story from one of my Sunday school students, and I hope it helps you make tough decisions about committing yourself to sports that require you to play on Sundays.

APPLICATION

When we know how much Jesus loves us and become familiar with His gentle ways, we want to be more like Him. He was persecuted for healing people on the Sabbath, but His compassion is not against God’s law. What ways do you keep God’s day holy?

PRAYER

Lord Jesus, help us to be more like you, loving and compassionate, and keep Your day holy. Amen.