2002-12-27 - Its All So Simple
Encore from 1996-12-25
Hi everyone. I hope that all of you are having a blessed holiday week. Recently the thought has been brought home to me, that God makes things simple, and then we tend to overcomplicate them.
Luke 2:8-16 (NIV) And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests." 15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about." 16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.
They were expecting a political Messiah with pomp and circumstance; He sent them a baby in a simple manger, who would later ride on a simple donkey.
They were expecting someone who would affirm the importance of working our way into Heaven; He brought them a Savior full of GRACE and truth, and a salvation that comes about "....through faith..... not by works...." (Eph 2:8-9)
We are expecting to carry our burdens by ourselves, figure things out by ourselves, when really, He wants us do our part, but He wants us to then simply lean on Him, depend on Him. Just think about how life could be -- if we TRULY take God at His word:
1 Pet 5:7 (NIV) Cast all your anxiety on him because He cares for you.
Think of what this really means: The God of the Universe, to whom "A thousand years....are like a day," (Psalm 90:4) cares for us as individuals. Try reading that verse and putting your name in it, like this: "Cast all my anxiety on Him because He cares for Jan."
We fret and worry, toss and turn at night, wondering how to solve a problem, and yet we dont have to, for He has infinite wisdom for us to turn to! What's more, He WANTS us to turn to Him. He doesn't expect us to have all the answers on our own! That revolutionary thought is worth repeating to ourselves mentally - God doesnt expect us to have all the answers on our own!
James 1:5 (NIV) If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, Who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.
We doubt our ability to do something, yet God makes it simple: He has LIMIT LESS power, and it is available to US. WE can do ANYthing He wants us to:
Phil 4:13 (NIV) I can do everything through him Who gives me strength.
God has given us the best gifts, both temporal and eternal. He has given us salvation, the chance to live with Him forever. And while out of obedience, and gratefulness, we should live a life of service to Him, a life that lines up with His Word -- He gives us that salvation simply by faith:
John 3:16 (NIV) "For God so loved the world that he gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
And God has given us EVERYthing we need to live the life that He wants us to live on this Earth:
2 Cor 12:9a (NIV) But he said to me, 'my grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.'
It can be really freeing, to realize that GOD has all that is needed, and not only can we lean on Him; He wants us to! GOD does have all the answers. GOD has all the power. GOD wants us to depend on Him, and give Him glory. It's that simple. : )
Dear Lord, we ask that You help us to appropriate by faith, all these gifts that You have given us. Help us to truly believe, deep down in our Hearts, in Your love for us, and Your provision for EVERYthing. Help us to depend on You, and give You glory for what You do. In Jesus' name, amen.