Only Jesus Remains– 64.Loving Christmas

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro copyright 2020

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

Whatever has happened or will happen is not a surprise to God. It just is not. There are ever beauty and gifts in these moments which need to be recognized. Though the seemingly unexpected circumstance of no room at the inn for the Holy Family may have caused worry in the moment, God provided sufficiently and meaningfully through that which humanly would be measured as less. 

Thankfully, God does not pay attention to human measures. And His decision to enable what people would define as less at the birth of His Son, still speaks to us in every generation through every difficult circumstance. God’s way is resounding! He exhorts, don’t worry about difficulties. Don’t set your sights on that which is less, but simply look to be in the will of God. To be used by Him to do the work He knows needs to be done so that more people can encounter Him incrementally.  His truth, His love, His way. To be able to stay more firmly on His path throughout this journey of life, toward that God-intended destination with Him forever. Where He simultaneously longs to work through each one of us, so that this Love which brings freedom and healing is not just encountered in eternity or spiritually, but utterly humanly now. God working and working ongoing through His Spirit’s promptings in you and others to cause here and now to become ever increasingly the dwelling place of God. For His kingdom come. His will be done on earth as in heaven.

On-earth-as-in-heaven is happening now with every instance where we make God our goal and imitating Jesus our aim. This is the God-seeking life. The walking-with-Jesus life. Looking only to be in the will of God. Exclusively so. It is manger-like Christmas imitation. The true Christmas which is real in how it was hard. Like Jesus. Like Mary. Like Joseph and so many others through the ages. Not my will but Yours. Not my will but Yours! Not pretending we can decide what His will is but seeking His until we find it. Being oriented in thought and mind and heart to Him, no matter what. Through all things. There, present to Him as He is always present to us.

God is working out His purposes. He is non-stop, ever-accomplishing His objectives.  Through all things. Attacks from hell expected along the way. Regardless and beyond, God is ceaselessly pursuing more souls through us, not just for eventual life in heaven but for freedom, incremental healing and activation into His service even now.

This is living. This is life. It is life to the full! We look to His manger and recognize ours. We look to the cross and are encouraged—even emboldened—to pick up our own. Our crosses which last a lifetime. For love. For love of Him. In awe. For love of others. In every moment. Because He is teaching us.

God’s reign is here. Christmas love. Loving Christmas. Christ-love. Merry, Blessed Christmas.

Most High God, how beautiful Your way.  Connect me now even more to Your holy heart of love. Give me eyes to see with Your view and ears to hear what pierces as-yet Your heart. Show me the way You would have me walk and I will walk in it, if Your Spirit will help. I lean on You. I come to rest in You. I glory in You and You alone. If it were not for You there would be no hope. Yet, hope there is because You are. Master Gardener, grow me—grow us—into that harvest, into those branches attached to You, the Vine, who can be the instruments of Your love, Your way for healing, reconciliation, restoration and resurrection life from here through eternity.

1 Seeing the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and when He was seated, His disciples came to Him.

2 Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:

Blessed (happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous—with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the poor in spirit (the humble, who rate themselves insignificant), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven!

Blessed and enviably happy [with a happiness produced by the experience of God’s favor and especially conditioned by the revelation of His matchless grace] are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted!

Blessed (happy, blithesome, joyous, spiritually prosperous—with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the meek (the mild, patient, long-suffering), for they shall inherit the earth!

Blessed and fortunate and happy and spiritually prosperous (in that state in which the born-again child of God enjoys His favor and salvation) are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (uprightness and right standing with God), for they shall be completely satisfied!

Blessed (happy,to be envied, and spiritually prosperous—with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy!

Blessed (happy, enviably fortunate, and spiritually prosperous—possessing the happiness produced by the experience of God’s favor and especially conditioned by the revelation of His grace, regardless of their outward conditions) are the pure in heart, for they shall see God!

Blessed (enjoying enviable happiness, spiritually prosperous—with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the makers and maintainers of peace, for they shall be called the sons of God!

10 Blessed and happy and enviably fortunate and spiritually prosperous  (in the state in which the born-again child of God enjoys and finds satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of his outward conditions) are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake (for being and doing right), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven!

11 Blessed (happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous—with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of your outward conditions) are you when people revile you and persecute you and say all kinds of evil things against you falsely on My account.

12 Be glad and supremely joyful, for your reward in heaven is great (strong and intense), for in this same way people persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Matthew 5:1-12

SONG Recommended: A BABY’S CRYChristmas Worship album

ONLY JESUS REMAINS PODCASTS

LOVING CHRISTMAS 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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