How to Share Your Story This Christmas: Counsel from Charles Spurgeon (Tony Reinke, Desiring God)
“Go home, young man, and tell the poor sinner’s story; go home, young woman, and open your diary, and give your friends stories of grace. Tell them of the mighty works of God’s hand which he hath wrought in you from his own free, sovereign, undeserved love. Make it a free grace story around your family fire.
When you are at home for Christmas, let no one see your face till God has seen it. Be up in the morning, wrestle with God; and if your friends are not converted, wrestle with God for them, and then you will find it easy work to wrestle with them for God.” (Charles Spurgeon)
Seek Mercy from the God of Heaven (Denice Parker, tenthousandbeside.com)
The more time we spend in Daniel, the more I think God wants us to believe this: not merely that he can help, but that he will. We can’t hold him hostage or presume upon him to follow our prescription in each situation, thats not faith. Using God to get what you want is idolatry. But we can trust him – his goodness and love – to do what’s good. That he has a plan and he’ll work it out and it will be best for everyone. He will defend his own name and provide for his children in a better way than we could have asked for.
A Christmas Lament (David Roark, The Village Church)
Advent gives us a season to do this. It reminds us that the Christian life doesn’t come with a big bow on it—not yet, at least—but that there is space to be honest about the brokenness of our hearts and our world. Yet, even though we are distraught and disoriented by such fallenness, we are not without hope. We know that our King has come and He will come again. We know that He will, finally and forever, bring perfect peace and endless light. He will wipe away all our tears, and death will be no more. He will establish His kingdom and uphold it with justice and righteousness. And of His kingdom there will be no end.
Why Does Church Matter? (Justin Huffman, Servants of Grace)
No other activity in the name of Christ can take the place of regular involvement in, and commitment to, a local church. No student organization, seminary, online discussion forum, or small group Bible study can substitute for that organism which God designed and implemented Himself—the local church. While many good evangelistic and philanthropic efforts are undertaken by various Christian organizations, they cannot—and should not aim to—be a substitute for church. The local church has a unique purpose and position in the plan of God.
A Lesson from Paul on Transformation (Judy Allen, Unlocking the Bible)
And God’s Word tells us here that: When we surrender our lives to God in view of his mercy, worship him with everything we are, resist the pattern of the world, and renew our minds by his Spirit, then we will be able to discern God’s will. For most of us, transformation doesn’t happen so rapidly like it did for Paul. And even Paul spent three years in Arabia before he actually began to preach the gospel (Galatians 1:11-17). The transformation on the road to Damascus was no doubt the start of a lifelong work of God. Are you willing, in light of God’s mercy, to offer your existence to him, to resist the world, and to renew your mind? I hope so, because as we do these things, the Spirit will transform our minds to be more like that of Jesus Christ.