Friday, December 26, 2008

His Presence

by Bethany Lashbrook

This Weeks Verse: Luke 11:13, "If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"(NIV)

Did you have that one gift that you asked for this Christmas season? I sure did! And, knowing my family, I received it from someone; if not my husband, then my mom. My oldest daughter knew exactly what she wanted! My greatest joy of the season will be watching my two children excitedly open that ONE gift they just HAD to have. This, to me is the greatest “earthly” joy of the season.

Like many other women, I live for my Lord, and I live for my husband, and I live for my children. So it goes without saying that nothing on this earth is comparable to me making them happy. I get an overall contentment knowing that I gave them something they needed. Sure, I give them love every day, but it’s not every day you get love and a present under a Christmas tree!

Unfortunately, many presents opened this season will soon end up in the bottom of the toy box. But as for God’s present – it lasts for an eternity! And for the first time this morning, reading a daily devotion, I felt God get excited about me opening his present! I realize that God gave us a gift when He gave us His son wrapped in swaddling cloths in that manger the first Christmas morning. But, He also gave us the present of the Holy Spirit. This way we are never, ever alone. We never have to face a challenge or a disaster without Him.

Each time we listen to Him, we are using His gift, His offering to us. And not only are we using it, but He is getting excited about it! God – gets excited about me! Say that out loud. God – gets excited about me! Oh what a joy to know that his present to me will never be thrown out with all the other presents I will receive!

Father, thank You for the gift of Your Son. Thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit. Please continue to guide us through You so that we may continue to do good. Lord, thank You for all the presents under the tree, but help us not to forget about the presence of You. Gifts from earth are short-lived, but YOU are forever. Guide and direct us in whatever You do. In Your Son's precious Name we pray, Amen.

Did you find yourself more excited about the presents under the Christmas tree or the presence of God in your life this Christmas season? If you feel like you need a boost, pray and ask for the Holy Spirit to guide you. Just like other gifts, the gift of the Holy Spirit works best when you get it out from the bottom of the pile, and place it back on top!

Power Verses:
Luke 11:9-10, "So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened." (NIV)
Ephesians 2:8,"God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God." (NLT)
John 14:16, "And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you." (NLT)


Marsha said...

This year, with my 11 year old daughter's permission, of course, we chose NOT to put up a tree. Not having a tree seemed really strange at first, but after making the decision, it really was the right one. We decided that the presence of the tree might actually be a distration of the "reason for the season". We enjoyed the company of family and friends and celebrated our blessings 'deeper' this year. It's been wonderful to recieve "that boost" in this particular way and to enjoy the greatest gift we could ever imagine!! Great devo!

Kathy said...

I LOVE the image of God getting excited when we use the gift He's given us. Thanks, Bethany!