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.
3 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!
4 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.
5 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]—
6 [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.
7 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,
8 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!
SONG Recommended: YOU CAME TO SET US FREE–Christmas Worship album
If you are just joining in these reflections, read the Introduction here to learn what these are all about.
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