The most meaningful presents we receive might not come wrapped in shiny paper or frilly ribbons. They are often the ones that lift your spirit, brighten your day or trigger your imagination.

I’ve been curious what others consider to be their ‘best gift’ so have been looking at other people’s stories about their ‘best gifts’, so here’s one I want to share with you.

My most meaningful Christmas gift was when I received my Jesus stocking. My mother-in-love gave my family a stocking with the name “JESUS” written across the length of it. Each year on Christmas morning my family writes a letter to Jesus and puts it into the stocking. This is a tradition my husband and his family have been doing since he was a little guy. They have yet to open and read any of these letters, but they are a constant reminder each year as we begin to decorate our tree and wrap our presents that the greatest gift we have is Jesus. This gift has guaranteed my family will take time to focus on the Lord during the holiday season.

Isn’t it amazing how a simple gift can completely change someone’s life for the better. This person ended up finding their passion because of the gift. What a great gift!

We all worry sometimes, we’re only human.

But does worrying actually achieve anything? The only thing achieved by worrying is stress, as worrying never actually changes anything does it?

Even although we know worry doesn’t change anything, we still worry, but we are only human.

Even although we know God is with us every step of the way, it can still be hard not to worry sometimes, but we are only human.

Take all your worries, all your anxieties to God, and leave them there. God can take care of them and you!

 

How many times have you said, “I wish I’d told them…”, or “I should have said…”?

Some moments come along only once, and never occur again, so if you don’t grasp there and then, you miss it forever. Therefore make sure you always tell those you love how much they mean to you.

Man seems to have been fascinated by the future for a long time, we just need to look back at the numerous movies that have been made over the years, all set in a world imagined to be ‘the future’.

  • 1984
  • 2001: A space odyssey
  • Alien
  • Avatar
  • Bill and Ted’s excellent adventure
  • I, Robot
  • Intersellar
  • Lost in space
  • Planet of the apes
  • Etc…

Some of those films were set in a time that is actually now in the past. E.g. 1984. I think it’s fair to say the film version of the future has never really turned out to be particularly accurate, has it!

I know a few people who visit psychics to find out a little of what their future holds for them. I don’t know about you, but I know I wouldn’t want to know what lies ahead for me.

At a member of the Salvation Army, a Salvationist, I made promises to God to serve him not just today and tomorrow, but in our future days. I always seem to end up with the words of a particular song going through my mind when I think about the promises I’ve made to God.

O Jesus, I have promised
To serve Thee to the end;
Be Thou forever near me,
My Master and my Friend;
I shall not fear the battle
If Thou art by my side,
Nor wander from the pathway
If Thou wilt be my Guide.

This song doesn’t just remind me my promises, but as it was a special song to some of my family, it remind me that they made those same promises to God, and they did keep them in their future, right ‘to the end’.

Our future is not just about us keep our promises to God, but Him also keeping his promises to us, as that’s where we get our reassurance that no matter what we face God is with us:

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Isaiah 41:10 

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

As you’ve probably gathered I’ve been thinking a lot about the future, and have prayed  that I will stay true to God no matter what the future holds for me. There will be times of great joy ahead, but also some challenging times too, but I know I can face them with confidence if I remember these words:

There is a name I call in times of trouble
There is a song that comforts in the night
There is a voice that calms the storm that rages
He is Jesus, Jesus
—JESUS—

I’m not sure that when in the middle of a struggle I would agree that ‘I strengthen’. However having said that I know that when you look back on times when you’ve found it hard to see a way through, it’s then you realise just how strong you really were!

In doing that, you then understand yourself and what you truly believe better than you ever could if you never experienced any difficulties in life.

So even if you’re struggling just now, try to stay positive, as you can find the strength to get through these days because you are a strong person, and God is always with you.

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” ~ Isaiah 41:10 

It can be scary when we don’t know how the future will turn out. It can be scary in the present as well, when our circumstances change and we’re suddenly left having to deal with new circumstances or news.

But as we’re told in Isaiah, we really shouldn’t get dismayed when life is difficult, as God has promised to give us the strength to get through anything. We’re only human though, so we do worry, and we do get scared, so we just need to remind ourselves that God is always by our side, and if we trust Him, we can face anything!

Everyone has to die once, then face the consequences. Christ’s death was also a one-time event, but it was a sacrifice that took care of sins forever. And so, when he next appears, the outcome for those eager to greet him is, precisely, salvation. ~ Hebrews 9:28 (The message)

Are you ready to greet Jesus when he next appears on earth?

Are you ready to receive salvation – deliverance from sin and its consequences? If you have faith in Christ, you are well prepared for Christ’s second coming.

January, the first month of the year. Jumpers and jackets needed as it’s a cold month where we have mornings and evenings making January a dark moth for weather and for mood.

Just about half way through the year now we’re into moth six. June brings hopefully some warmer summer weather where jumpers and jackets are not required.

January to June, five full months from start of January to start of June. Just as a lot of days have passed in that time, so I’m sure a lot has happened in your life during that time. Joy or pain, delight or tears I’m sure we’ve each experienced it all.

Joy of a new year in January can often turn to fear as life events throw things at you that you don’t expect, and certainly don’t want. Just as the days of the year keep going by, so we must keep going, whatever life throws our way.

Just keep going, we can face whatever the rest of this year throws our way.

The cross is the central focus of all we believe – Jesus, crucifixion, resurrection, forgiveness, everlasting life. So it’s no great surprise that the cross is the focal point in many churches, the reminder of everything we have to be grateful for.

Believe in the cross, and believe in Christ, because they are the rock on which our faith is built.

All because of the cross by Paul Baloche

What can wash a- way my sin, nothing but the blood of Jesus
What can make me whole again, nothing but the blood of Jesus

For my pardon this I see, nothing but the blood of Jesus
For my cleansing this my plea, nothing but the blood of Jesus

All because of the cross we are white as snow
All be- cause of what You’ve done
There’s a cleansing flow for all who come
Lord, we come

This is all my hope and peace, nothing but the blood of Jesus
This is all my righteousness, nothing but the blood of Jesus

All because of the cross we are white as snow
All be- cause of what You’ve done there’s a cleansing flow
All because of the cross we are white as snow
All be- cause of what You’ve done
There’s a cleansing flow for all who come

Lord, we come
Lord, we come
Lord, we come

Oh, the blood of Je- sus; Oh, the blood of Je- sus
[Repeat]
Oh, the blood of Je- sus
Oh, the blood of Je- sus
On the cross, our sin erased
In Your death, our life was raised
On the cross, our sin erased
In Your death, our life was raised

Take my side, God—I’m getting kicked around, stomped on every day. Not a day goes by but somebody beats me up; They make it their duty to beat me up. When I get really afraid I come to you in trust. I’m proud to praise God; fearless now, I trust in God. What can mere mortals do? ~ Psalm 56:4 (The Message)

How often have you felt like others are trying to beat you up either physically or emotionally, every day?

The good news is, as this verse from Psalm says, if we trust God, we can be fearless. So be strong, and trust God.