I hope this is a wonderful time of year for you, a time to enjoy the fruits of your labor and enjoy the favor and Blessing of the Good Lord. A time to relax, recreate, reflect, recover, and reset your priorities. Sorry, I can’t help it, I like alliteration. If this is not a beautiful time of year for you then let me encourage you to put your faith and trust in Jesus and choose as Joseph and Mary did to believe these temporary troubles will pass and you will enjoy victory.
It is amazing what all the Good Lord uses to prepare us for the plans He has for us. And all that is required of us is choose to trust Him and then be obedient to His call upon our lives. As I reflect on where I am today I am reminded that I had to take an exam in College to show adequate competency in the English language in order to be able to enroll in the education classes required for me to earn a degree in Secondary Education. My first job after college was coaching and teaching English – ironic is not? I spent a lot of time preparing for those English classes.
As the Lord led me to leadership positions a fair amount of writing for public consumption and public speaking went with the job. And now, a published book, a couple of blogs, and a second book ready for publication. Amazing, truly amazing what the Lord has allowed me to learn and how far he has brought me. Me, a regular guy with little academic competence, being allowed to lead two of what are now considered to be in the top ten schools in Texas –simply amazing. And if you knew me, you would have no doubt it is only due to the grace and goodness of the Good Lord because I surely do not have the ability.
While my wife and my life is not that of Zechariah and Elizabeth, we also were not able to have children, yet the Good Lord gave us a family. Here I set thankful with a beautiful wife, two sons growing and maturing, and unlike so many other people in this country and in the world time to sit and enjoy. Yet I like so many others do not live everyday with the attitude of success. Instead I see the obstacles, the rocks in the trail, the difficulties. While I should have my eyes focused on the prize –not ignoring or not seeing the potential difficulties or dangers on the trail, but cruising through as one victorious.
As we celebrate the season of the birth of Christ, and I am not adding to the debate of the actual time of Christ’s birth or of the pagan roots of the celebration of the winter solstice. I am simply enjoying celebrating the birth of the Lord. We bring gifts to honor our family and friends and demonstrate generosity for those who should be easiest for us to be generous. I guess you could call it practicing generosity. I am simply choosing to not fight for or about Christmas, but to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Because without His birth, He could not die and resurrect His life to demonstrate the victory.
I think of Mary. Mary, an unwed girl, likely a teenager, living in a society that at best would ostracize her and maybe kill her for becoming pregnant out of wedlock. Yet, one who joyfully accepted her role in the life changing –no world changing drama that continues today. Mary who saw past the temporary difficulties and trusted the Good Lord for success and victory in the end.
I think of Joseph. Joseph a man betrothed to a pregnant girl. And in a society that could literally stone him for the assumption that he had got her pregnant or he could have Mary stoned. He chose to follow in obedience the Lord’s direction and marry her and raise the child Jesus.
And Jesus, Jesus who gave up his lofty position as the son of God, one part of the three some that make up God. He gave it up to come to the earth, live as a human with all the problems, temptations, sickness, and then voluntarily go through the pain and suffering of the cross.
We all, me included have regrets this time of year. If people tell you they don’t, then to quote an old preacher friend of mine, “they will lie about other things too”. We all have family issues, relationships and friendships lost or hurt by our own actions or lack of actions, and some beyond our own control. Yet we have this example of a poor teenage girl who willingly accepted her role and looked past these temporary afflictions of society. We don’t read of her having difficult days and maybe she did or did not, but the example remains she lived with her view beyond these temporary difficulties. If only we could all live as the humble victors of this life that we are through the sacrifice of Mary, Joseph, and most of all Jesus.
Let me encourage you to look back over the past success you have enjoyed. Celebrate this season and live this season with sure knowledge that as long as you keep your faith and trust in Jesus the Lord you will enjoy success in the end. And if you are not trusting Him, then please begin today.
Leadership on Purpose
Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior – yes, the Messiah, the Lord – has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! –Luke 2:9-11, NLT
Mary responded, I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true. And then the angel left her. – Luke 1:38
For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. –John 3:16, NLT
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our
Lord. –Romans 6:23, NLT
“Stop fighting for Christmas –there’s nothing to fight for. The followers of Jesus are celebrating; the rest don’t get it.” – James McDonald
Cowboy Logic: “You find pretty much what you are looking for…”