Encouragement for Today - Dec. 21, 2006
December 21, 2006
Encouragement for Today
“New Birth and New Beginnings”
Tracie Miles, Proverbs 31 Ministries Speaker
Luke 2:10-12, 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. Today in the town of
It is funny how six little words on a computer screen can have such a profound impact on a person’s state of mind. Yes, just six simple little words can bring instant gloom and doom … Warning: Your memory capacity is full. When I see these words pop up on the screen (and the initial shock wears off) I understand that the end result is imminent - permanent file deletion.
Recently after seeing that message on my computer screen, I reluctantly marked all files for deletion that I thought I could live without. Putting all fears aside, I finally pressed the delete button, and instantly began to see the titles of my selected documents being whisked away into the eternal trash bin, never to be seen again. But as I watched each title appear on the screen for just a split second, each one conjured up a small memory of what I was doing when I created the document. Each document title signified an experience, whether big or small, important or insignificant. As I sat there watching, I wished that I could hit the delete button in my life sometimes.
For example: Poor choices as an adolescent – DELETE. Mistakes I made as an adult – DELETE. Damaged relationships – DELETE. Poor parenting decisions – DELETE. Losing my temper – DELETE. Acts of selfishness – DELETE. Lack of patience – DELETE. As I pondered this idea, the Holy Spirit gently spoke to my heart, “Tracie, my child, you do have a delete button – it’s called forgiveness”. Romans 3:25 says, “God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood.“
When Jesus was born on that cold winter morning over 2000 years ago, in a stable, to a virgin, surrounded by animals and the smell of hay, the ultimate delete button was birthed. Imagine God peering down from heaven, as if He were looking through the nursery window in the hospital, seeing His tiny, precious little boy, with ten fingers and toes and fresh pink skin, lying sweetly in the manger, knowing in 33 short years He would be sacrificed for our sins. What grace and mercy God has on us!
The virgin birth signifies the only gift that guarantees our forgiveness. Once we confess our sins to the Father, those sins are not only forgiven – they experience permanent deletion. Just as we could not accurately recall all the words in a document once it has been deleted, neither does God remember our sins after they are erased by His grace and forgiveness. Psalm 130:3 says “If you, O LORD, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand?” The memory capacity of Jesus will never be full, as long as we are faithful to trust Him for forgiveness.
We sometimes grow so accustomed to hearing, “Jesus is the Reason for the Season”, that it merely becomes a cliché. But it’s an awesome, undeniable truth. For those of us who believe in the birth of the one true Savior, we must continue to proclaim that Christmas is Christ. Let’s thank Christ for deleting our sins, and providing an eternity of new beginnings.
My Prayer for Today:
Lord, please help me to remember that you truly are the reason for the Christmas season. Thank you for sending your Son on Christmas day, so that I could be forgiven and enjoy eternal life in heaven with You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Mary Said “Yes” Will You? ETC CORNER
Get Over it and On With It by Michelle McKinney
Pray earnestly during the Christmas season and thank God for the gift of His son. Have family devotion time during the holidays to remind your family the true reason for the season. Stand up for your beliefs and proclaim that Jesus was, is and always will be the most important Christmas gift of all time.
Have I asked Jesus to permanently delete my sins?
Do I allow myself to get so caught up in traditions, shopping and gift giving, that I neglect to focus on the miraculous birth of Jesus?
Deuteronomy 16: 15b For the Lord your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands, and your joy will be complete. (NIV)
Colossians 2:13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ He forgave us of all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he to0k it away, nailing it to the cross. (NIV)