Only Jesus Remains– 22.Christmas Sacrifice

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro copyright 2020

Oct 22 to Jan 6 reflections from an upcoming book for tending hurting hearts at Christmas

The mission of Jesus was to reveal God.  He did not just come to open the door to save us and give back heaven. He came to show who He really is and demonstrate the way life is to be and how we are to be to each other.  In other words, to invite you to heaven’s life now without the perfection and ease that will be to come. To exhort by the example of Himself how to live in a way all the commandments are fulfilled the right way—at a heart level where you are Spirit-empowered and Spirit-led and thus focused on discerning and walking out God’s will not just for yourself but for the others and community.

 Kingdom of God living now. Not just in heaven. Jesus the example in how He came, lived and died. Knitted inseparably to Father of one mind, heart and focus. It was about others. About you. About all. This Way of Life not a love with disregard for right and wrong. It was not a love which set aside injustice or ignored conflict for the sake of false peace. Jesus spoke the truth, but it was always about redeeming, reconnecting, healing, reconciling and restoring. This not just about the invitation to live with God individually, but in vibrant community as God does. God-like!

This love disregards the lower goals of humanity which are success-driven versus other-caring and community-focused. The manger! Obscure life! No position or title.  This love is in union with Trinity and always sought and seeks to do Father’s plan. Jesus. In that palpable, infinite love for us, Jesus did not care about His own role in the story. He was not obsessed with leading and implementing His own plan but listening for and joining in Father’s.  Jesus—sharing Father’s heart—doing His part for His kingdom come. For love of us which flowed simultaneously out of love for Father. A life of sacrifice.

The Jesus you are invited to encounter is no longer a romanticized mythical story, but the One who at every moment gave us the example of God who came emptied of self and through what seemed like the least to set into motion God’s plan which was greatest.

Whoever said submitting to God’s will instead of your own was easy? Whoever said it was easy for Jesus to set aside His own plans to do Father’s? A Jesus-following life is a sacrificial life. Here the immense blessing.

 Jesus is the example! Yours. Mine. This is the type of life unified with the grand purposes of God through every seemingly meaningless moment but thereby imbued with divine eternal purpose to which you are also blessedly called. Because Jesus came. Because He asked Father to send Spirit. Because Spirit is here with us now, guiding each one in His way. Moment by moment. In the hidden places. In the places which seem like (and are) sacrifice. For the glory of God and the redemption and restoration of humanity back to God and to be fully there for one another in the way He always intended. One person at a time. One life at a time. Since the dawn of time. Until His Kingdom is fully come.

The heavens declare Your glory, my Lord and my God. Decorate my heart and impress upon me Your way of life and direction for thismoment, that I might better reflect You, too. To be a vessel through whom You flow to rouch more hearts! There could not be a more fulfilling life purpose. How magnificent You are. Your Majesty is beyond human trappings of royal robes which disintegrate into dust. You are clothed in righteousness and justice which loves fiercely and fights for what is right. For each one. For love. Thank You for inviting me to participate in this Spirit-led moment-by-moment, God-connected, Jesus-love life.

May blessing (praise, laudation, and eulogy) be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) Who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual (given by the Holy Spirit) blessing in the heavenly realm!

Even as [in His love] He chose us [actually picked us out for Himself as His own] in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy (consecrated and set apart for Him) and blameless in His sight, even above reproach, before Him in love.

For He foreordained us (destined us, planned in love for us) to be adopted (revealed) as His own children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the purpose of His will [[b]because it pleased Him and was His kind intent]—

[So that we might be] to the praise and the commendation of His glorious grace (favor and mercy), which He so freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

In Him we have redemption (deliverance and salvation) through His blood, the remission (forgiveness) of our offenses (shortcomings and trespasses), in accordance with the riches and the generosity of His gracious favor,

Which He lavished upon us in every kind of wisdom and understanding (practical insight and prudence),..

12 So that we who first hoped in Christ [who first put our confidence in Him have been destined and appointed to] live for the praise of His glory!

Ephesians 1:3-8,12

SONG Recommended: YOU CAME TO SET US FREEChristmas Worship album

ONLY JESUS REMAINS PODCASTS

CHRISTMAS SACRIFICE PODCAST

If you are just joining in these reflections, read the Introduction here to learn what these are all about.

for mini-devotions subscribe or connect on Facebook at Spiritual Armor and Ammo .

Author: Elizabeth Fulgaro

I am a God-seeker--a Jesus-worshipper--a Holy Spirit follower. I create songs, devotions, prayers, books and Bible studies to give words with which to get to know God more. For you. Its for one-on-One encounter unto transformed, transcendent living. This is not my vocation. I am not professional. I am a real, ordinary person just looking to do what God put me here to do. (You have a unique purpose too.) So I am called to the work. It is not my income source, but my gift to those who find it blessing. Eagles Nest Foundation sponsors all projects for you. The result: pure, clean spiritual nutrition to feed that deep insatiable spiritual hunger which eventually overtakes each of us and galvanizes you to the life God has for you. This life is purposeful. Exceptional. You--yes, you--are called to something greater and more satisfying in His service. So it is hoped you'll try this spiritually dense nutrition and find it to be a personal blessing. However, the goodness of God-following doesn't stop there. He uses those who seek Him to be His love and care (justice, mercy, advocate, kindness) very tangibly in the lives of those around you. Not by your power but by His. His ideas. God ideas. Not just good ideas. To be part of changing the world, if you will let Him. You learn to just follow where He leads. That if you listen, He will teach you to hear His voice and then when you obey His inner promptings you will become His incredible hands and feet in this hard world. These materials will help! They will help you aim your life towards God in a way you never look back. You will not be the same. He will become the River in your desert spaces and you will become a conduit of this same River of refreshing, replenishing Water of Life to others. Find a prayer. Pick a blog post. Read a book. Be led deeper into the Bible. Select a song which resonates and use it and use it again to go close and ever closer to the God who longs to draw you near. Oh, and don't be tempted to think I'm a crazy over-spiritualized loony...My background is financial planning and counseling. Almost 40 years of it. To choose to believe in God is not to leave practicality and reason behind, but to learn that there is that which goes beyond it and includes it, unto true life fulfillment beyond all your dreams for the one who keeps seeking Him. I am a third generation Californian. I am a person to whom family means everything. The only priority higher is God. The foothills of the Sierra Nevada are my home. It is here the 1849-1856 Gold Rush is still glorified. Easy money? Actually only for the few. Even though I was raised in the Church, it took me ten years of doubting God even existed to realize that without Him, no matter how much of this life's "stuff" is accumulated, I actually have nothing. To come to know that all those who chased after gold are dead and all those who still chase stuff will be dead. That's when I became a God-seeker. Looking for that more. And Eureka! (This is California's state slogan and means I found it.) I found God...or rather, I discovered He was there and had been there waiting for me to look for Him the whole time. May you discover more of Him for you, greater flourishing life and greater flourishing for all in the world as well. God bless you! ~Elizabeth

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