Only Jesus Remains– 68.Faithful Christmas

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro copyright 2020

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

Jesus was not a surprise. He was expected. Since the beginning of our exile outside paradise, God Himself had been preparing a place for the Son to come. He had been working out His supreme, ever-going plan. He never intended to abandon us to our own devices. He was already setting in place all that was needed to rescue us.

 God in His love, which is characteristically and unceasingly radiating outward to reveal Himself in order to care for us and draw us in, was constantly and from the start preparing a people who would recognize Him.  In their humanness, the people did not exactly understand what He would be like. Their expectations were incomplete because in their made-in-His-image, but lesser creature-ness (they were not the Creator), they could not completely fathom God’s Messiah. He was infinitely greater!

 Even as the prophets of old declared what Holy Spirit had showed them about God (which sometimes exceeded what human language seemed able to express), sometimes it led to their own demise. Many people were not excited to hear God’s way and what God was asking of them for good, healthy relationship with Him. They wanted to do and be and live whatever way they wanted.  They wanted to have their own way. To have God follow where they were leading and to bless it.

 But despite how many prophets the people silenced over the generations, Jesus still came. His coming could not be stopped. God’s plan was happening anyway.

Jesus was that Messiah who had been foreshadowed in the prophecies. He fulfilled those and yet He was still veiled. Even now. He remains not completely or clearly comprehensible.

Jesus also is coming again. Thus, now we are the ones watching. We are not sure when. In fact, the Lord Himself tells us we will not be able to guess the time.

The Christmas (the Christ-centered) hope which carries us forward is that same unstoppable hope of the ancients. We trust in the faithfulness of God. Jesus was Emmanuel, meaning God-with-us. The name, Jesus, means God saves. After Jesus’ death, resurrection and ascension, Jesus asked Father and Father sent His Spirit to live within us.

 Where before the Spirit had only been present in this indwelling way to the few, now He would come to all who believed. We would not be alone. The enemy was defeated by Jesus’ faithful submission to death on the cross. The ransom for us paid in full. Those who chose to follow Him—could come under the dominion of God again as had been before the Fall in paradise.

 Yet here until heaven there is still darkness and not just Light. The Light is coming into the world and the darkness has not overcome it.  Thus, for now the darkness is still there.

 Just as Jesus lived what we would term an ordinary life where the darkness was present for now, yet God worked His extraordinary and eternal purposes through it, just so for us.  Emmanuel through His Spirit remains God-with-us. In this place, we are not alone.  God’s Spirit is there leading and guiding. We get to be sheep who are led, we do not have to find our own Way. Spirit leads us in the Way of Jesus which revealed the matching way of Father. We are the children and know who our Parent is!

 God is faithful. He has always been faithful. That does…not…change. Jesus coming and is coming again. Spirit here with us now. If you have chosen Jesus as your Savior, you have been drafted. Commissioned in His army. Part of His spiritual air Force.  You are herewith for the extent of this life deployed. Messages from the Spirit. He will guide you in God’s master plan. Remember the victory has already been won through Jesus. Full fulfillment waits for heaven. The pervading darkness is no more. The Light has come. We move from the dawn into the eventual, all-encompassing light of His everlasting day. From the dawn of the Son unto the full, never-ending day of the Lord.

 Hail, Jesus and thanks be to God! All praise that You came through the Virgin Mary to the manger.

How simple it really is. To connect with You. To follow You. To choose to listen to and believe in You over all other things. To make You centermost and most important. Lord. God. Master. Ruler. Lover. Comforter. Consoler. Shepherd. Thank You, Father for sending Spirit. Thank You Jesus for paying the price and asking. Thank You, Holy Spirit, that You are ever here from earth till heaven and You can be trusted to lead me in God’s will every single day. I am certainly a child. Childlike. God’s child. I do not always get it right. But like a good Parent, You block off the doors upon which I knock, which are not Your will for me and open wide those which are. I do not have to hear perfectly. You look for my willingness. Well, here’s my heart. Once again. Every day. Take me. Mold me. Use me. For Your kingdom and Your glory and for love of all of us singly and together. In Your name, Amen.

However, I am telling you nothing but the truth when I say it is profitable (good, expedient, advantageous) for you that I go away. Because if I do not go away, the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you [into close fellowship with you]; but if I go away, I will send Him to you [to be in close fellowship with you].

And when He comes, He will convict and convince the world and bring demonstration to it about sin and about righteousness (uprightness of heart and right standing with God) and about judgment:

About sin, because they do not believe in Me [trust in, rely on, and adhere to Me];

10 About righteousness (uprightness of heart and right standing with God), because I go to My Father, and you will see Me no longer;

11 About judgment, because the ruler (evil genius, prince) of this world [Satan] is judged and condemned and sentence already is passed upon him.

12 I have still many things to say to you, but you are not able to bear them or to take them upon you or to grasp them now.

13 But when He, the Spirit of Truth (the Truth-giving Spirit) comes, He will guide you into all the Truth (the whole, full Truth). For He will not speak His own message [on His own authority]; but He will tell whatever He hears [from the Father; He will give the message that has been given to Him], and He will announce and declare to you the things that are to come [that will happen in the future].

14 He will honor and glorify Me, because He will take of (receive, draw upon) what is Mine and will reveal (declare, disclose, transmit) it to you.

15 Everything that the Father has is Mine. That is what I meant when I said that He [the Spirit] will take the things that are Mine and will reveal (declare, disclose, transmit) it to you.

16 In a little while you will no longer see Me, and again after a short while you will see Me.

John 16:7-16
SONG Recommended: TO SEE MERCY TRIUMPHSo You Sent Your Son album

ONLY JESUS REMAINS PODCASTS

FAITHFUL CHRISTMAS PODCAST

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

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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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