Saturday, December 29, 2007
Back in October, I flew down to Houston, Texas to speak and sign books for Second Baptist School. Little did I know they had prepared a great surprise for me. The students and staff wrote, directed, and starred in a dramatic portrayal of The Door Within. I know from this clip, it will be hard to capture the power of the moment. But, I can tell you, it was extraordinary. I was literally moved to tears. Righteous kids, righteous staff, righteous trip.
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
"Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us."*
God with us. Makes me think. Makes me think hard.
God said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."**
Jesus said, "Lo I am with you always, even until the end of the age."***
Paul told us, " For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."****
In training to be a counselor (and in marital counseling) we're taught to avoid using extreme words like "never" and "always" when we describe someone with whom we are in conflict. "Biff's never on time." --or-- "Zelda's always criticizing me." Those kind of comments create strife because of the strength of the words "never" and "always." The problem is that "never" and "always" almost never apply to people. There might have been that one time in 3rd grade when Biff actually got somewhere on time. And there might have been once when Biff hadn't taken the garbage out, that Zelda didn't notice or complain. We humans just can't throw words like "never" and "always" around so easily because we rarely can back them up.
But God does. And God can.
Do you see the powerful thread woven through all of the above verses? God makes it very clear that believers in Jesus are Never Alone. Is there anything more amazing than this promise?
It means from Birth to Death and Beyond, God will always be with us. This is a comfort beyond words. Even when we don't see Him or feel Him, He's there. Even when we are in the darkest hour, He is there.
Do you know someone who needs to hear that message today? Christmas is a wonderful time for getting together with family and friends, but not everyone has that blessing right now. For some, Christmas is an aching reminder of how very alone they really are. We need to let people know that believing in Jesus isn't just about getting to heaven. It's about having a Savior who won't ever leave us.
I'll be the first to tell you, I'm not a hyper spiritual guy. Or maybe non-spiritually sensitive, might be a better term for me. I don't always "feel" God or His presence. But it's not about feelings for me. It's about truth and trust. My life rests on the fact that Jesus will never leave me. In my Door Within books, that was the single, most important theme I wanted to convey to readers: when you follow the true King, you will never be alone.
It's Christmas. And God is with us.
If you are willing, respond to this thread by posting about a time when God showed you that you are never alone.