Only Jesus Remains– 41.Christmas Secret

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro copyright 2020

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

The random price demanded, and which had to be paid for our freedom was obedience to God at all costs. The currency with which it was paid was the loss of blood unto loss of life. It was Father’s will always. Jesus went to the cross for the joy of what it would accomplish. In the dreadful pre-knowledge of the suffering it would require.  Father, if it be Your will, let this cup pass! Jesus’ work would defeat the devil and enable us to begin new life (as part of the new creation He was ushering in) as citizens and wounded-healer representatives of His kingdom now.  The cross was the result of Jesus’ obedience to Love and Jesus’ reciprocating love back to Father, which spiraled out in love for us.  Love in action by Jesus which was obedience versus the assertion Jesus could have made of right unto His own will. He did not self-protect. He God-sought.

How could God love each of us so much before we even thought of Him? This is true love of a Parent for a child! For you!  His action driven by the infinitely magnanimous and merciful love, which remains beyond our complete grasp, yet irrevocably parts the uncrossable waters between us and the life and relationship for which we were created. Freedom and wholeness already now in the messy midst and yet not fully yet this side of heaven. Jesus stretched Himself out on a cross for love, ignoring and even embracing its undeserved, unearned, disrespectful, abusive shame to become our Bridge. Our Door. For love.

Most of us have lost sight that this is exile here. We look and expect for here to become heaven. We pray for it. For all the blessings we think that we want to pour out. Now. Perfect, beautiful, only happy lives. Our hopes are often based on hoping life here becomes only more wonderful when we are faithful to Him.

Yet, with all the blessings which He does provide, this is not our home and cannot become that for which we may have subconsciously hoped.  This means we are like children tugging on Father’s robe asking to please have dessert for all meals (as proof of His love through our ideas of good provision and blessing). But Father knows this is not how things really are and that for which we ask is not His best.  Many of us are striving after that current, feel-good which we think will make us happy. At least that’s what it looks like to our ever-before-God-like-a-child view.

We have forgotten our greatest need. We have become so used to this less-than of our exile that we no longer recognize we are captive. We think here is the ultimate.  We think this is the greatest and most and want this less-than magnified until it matches our definition of perfect.

Our loving Father, Savior and Guide is looking beyond to something greater. It’s not that He doesn’t care, but that He does. About now, but also about to-come. And about every single person. Not forgetting a single one. Thus, His is a different view.

The Light—the true Light—is coming into the world and the darkness has not over come Him (and will not).  He came unto His own and they did not recognize Him. In fact, they rejected Him. There were only a few who became followers and stayed. Others at first were frightened away by their own misbegotten fears for self (childlike and confused). Later they returned. It took the Holy Spirit at Pentecost—the Divine Gift from God—to captivate the consciousnesses of those He touched fully in the right way and drive people to become passionate followers  who finally understood service His way, where there was no turning back because they had finally (with His help) grabbed hold of the hope which will consistently come true.  Jesus’ heart for each and every person. God’s. Jesus’ heart for Father excited to execute God’s purposes—whose work and purpose never fails. The only true Way for all people. The Way which works. For His lasting effect. The Way to which we are all summoned to become a part. As it was for the first disciples.  He is that same light of hope shining in our darkness and calling to us. To you. Spirit waits to open wide this mystery to each of us.

Jesus born, lived, died, crucified, resurrected, ascended and enthroned interceding for us and waiting for us with yearning which partners with Holy Spirit now for our incremental freedom and inner healing as He leads us home.

And here that Christmas secret coming into remembrance again. One to be mulled over. Held close. Cherished.

Hush. Be still. Remember… Like Jesus, you have a destiny for God. Here. Now. You are part of His plan as Jesus was. No, you are not Jesus and He does not expect you to be. But never forget, every moment here you also are on vital assignment. All aspects of your life (all and always) remain about making God visible in the way He knows is best to more people who He loves for the redemption of more souls. This is a key way He uses what the enemy means for evil for infinite good.  He did this through Jesus and He will do it through you.

We are in the midst of a great saga. The grandest story of all time. This story had a beginning and has an ending and you and I are in the midst of our parts in it. Each part is God-ordained with a specific role to play, if you will step into it.  He has set you free from the world’s false perceptions, valuations and standards unto activation for service! From exile’s captivity to a wilderness walk where He leads the way and provides unto entering a Promised Land where every hurt and sorrow fades. For such a time as this. This is your moment in time for Him to use you for His God-effect!

The enemy of your soul wants you to believe you are worthless or less acceptable, rejectable and to be abandoned.  These lies are from hell no matter who they were spoken through. You have a job to do. You are a God-designed vessel of God’s love. (And He only has good designs.) A carrier of His message of hope to the world by Spirit’s work in and through you. Through the wilderness. Free of captivity. Following the King.

Lord, in the beauty of seeing You more, I recognize your story is greater than my own. It encompasses mine while including all. You are ever working on and working out Your mission of love. You set hearts free to come to know and love You. Each one to do a part. You speak to us our roles for every moment for such a time as this if we will listen. I am quieting all other thoughts. I long only for Your will. Speak again, Lord. Your servant is listening!

[Rather] is not this the fast that I have chosen: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every [enslaving] yoke?

Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house—when you see the naked, that you cover him, and that you hide not yourself from [the needs of] your own flesh and blood?

Then shall your light break forth like the morning, and your healing (your restoration and the power of a new life) shall spring forth speedily; your righteousness (your rightness, your justice, and your right relationship with God) shall go before you [conducting you to peace and prosperity], and the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.

Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and He will say, Here I am. If you take away from your midst yokes of oppression [wherever you find them], the finger pointed in scorn [toward the oppressed or the godly], and every form of false, harsh, unjust, and wicked speaking,

10 And if you pour out that with which you sustain your own life for the hungry and satisfy the need of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in darkness, and your obscurity and gloom become like the noonday.

11 And the Lord shall guide you continually and satisfy you in drought and in dry places and make strong your bones. And you shall be like a watered garden and like a spring of water whose waters fail not.

12 And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of [buildings that have laid waste for] many generations; and you shall be called Repairer of the Breach, Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.

Isaiah 58:6-12

SONG Recommended: –NOT MY WILL BUT YOURS Christmas Worship album

ONLY JESUS REMAINS PODCASTS

CHRISTMAS SECRET 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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