Friday, December 24, 2010

A Night of Promise: How Will You Respond?


by Niki Turner

It's Christmas Eve! I love the atmosphere of Christmas Eve... anticipation and hope and excitement, no matter your age.

Are you wrapping up your preparations (and those last few presents)? Bustling about baking scrumptious things for your family and friends to enjoy? Excited to see people you don't get to visit with very often, or just happy have a day to relax at home?

We're all painfully aware of how easy it is to "lose" Christmas in the middle of wrapping paper, ribbons, cards, candy, kids, and gifts, so we remind ourselves that Christmas is about Jesus, and God's love for the world, and giving is better than receiving, and so on.

I want to encourage you to ponder something this Christmas Eve that will stay with you long after the tree comes down and the lights are tucked away in their boxes: the promises God has made to you.

Whether it's a scripture verse highlighted by the Holy Spirit as you read your Bible or a devotional, or the whisper of comfort that comes to your soul in times of prayer, or the promises we see prophesied in the New Testament, God has made many, many promises to us. And God, unlike man, is always faithful to His Word.

When I read the Christmas story, I'm awed by the way Mary, Joseph, and those nameless shepherds responded to God's message.

Oh, in our modern world we like to think their experiences were somehow more supernatural, more obvious, more like special effects in a movie, than our encounters with the Holy Spirit. Surely we would respond the same way if an angel appeared to us, or we had a blatantly spiritual dream, or the heavenly host appeared overhead while we're at work to serenade us... But would we really? Or would we question, and doubt, and fear, and hesitate?


As I read the Christmas story tonight with my family, I'll renew my commitment to respond like Mary: "be it unto me, according to Your word, Lord." To yield like Joseph: "Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him." To take action like those shepherds: "So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph and the Baby lying in a manger."

What promises has He whispered in your ear? What step of faith has He asked you to take that you've avoided, ignored, or otherwise neglected? I know I have a few things on my Holy Ghost "to-do" list.

Nativity Pictures, Images and Photos

Take another peek at that nativity set today and remember how they — real people, following a real God — responded to what they heard and saw, and let us follow their faith.

7 comments:

  1. "Take another peek at that Nativity set today".....
    Love that!!!

    Blessed Christmas everyone!

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  2. Thanks, Niki!
    What a great message we've had this week about drawing closer to God and looking at Him again with a renewed sense of wonder and thankfulness. I know I've needed it.
    Have a wonderful time with your family and friends!

    Thanks Cheryl, we are so glad for your friendship here. I know it really blesses me. I don't think our visitors know how much we appreciate them taking the time to comment!

    Merry Christmas Inky sisters! You are such an important part of my world. I pray the new year coming will be an amazing one for you all.

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  3. We do seem to be on a theme, don't we?
    Merry Christmas to you all, Inkies and Inkie pals who read and ponder and read and comment! Who would have thought Christian fellowship among the saints could be found through satellite signals and fiber optic cables? Nothing is impossible with God!

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  4. Nothing is impossible with God...Amen!

    Thanks for the timely post, Niki. I've been struck anew by the faith shown by Mary and Joseph when God asked something so huge from them. I would've been terrified, and I'm guessing they were too, but they trusted God and praised Him without fully understanding what exactly He was doing in their midst.

    A blessed and Merry Christmas, everyone!

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  5. Merry Christmas Inkies!
    Beautiful post, Nike. I hope each of you has an awesome Christmas. Enjoy your families and friends and keep God close in your hearts.
    Much joy,
    Jill

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  6. What a great message. It is so easy to forget that God giving us His very best and most costly gift started that first Christmas night. I wonder sometimes how Mary must have felt looking at a baby Jesus that night and how scared she must have been to be raising the King of kings and Lord of lords?

    I just pray that we don't forget that Christmas is not about the gifts that we give each other but about the Gift that the Heavenly Father has given us.

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