Or, I ponder, wouldn't it be something, as I "Advent-wait" for your return to retrieve your children, if I were to get to "be home for Christmas?" I believe Advent is near...I'm ready, whenever God the Father gives the nod, because this world IS DEFINITELY NOT MY HOME!
I've also thought about the three most frequently mentioned words in the Christmas story. They are important in this current season:
BE NOT AFRAID...
Have you noticed them?
It's the big theme of Christmas: We no longer need to fear the future. There's no need to be afraid of the spiritual death for which we are destined as a people born with a sin-nature...an inclination to be glory-thieves (thank you for the terminology, Paul David Tripp). Jesus came to be Immanuel: God with us. When God is with us, there is no fear... Jesus eliminates fear.
But, I've settled on a different thought.
A bit vulnerable.
Even...a little bit shameful-to-mention.
Sometimes, the old enemy-of-my-soul tries to steal away my Advent-joy...
Sometimes, he shoots his fiery, flaming darts into my brain and lodges a thought there that smolders ands burns, causing me to "entertain" what by-faith I know is a lie...
The shape of these lies leave scars and, even though I dismiss them, their form remains having done a branding from not quenching them more quickly.
They take the shape of questions... Often they are those pesky "what if" kinds of questions:
What if this Christian-life,
this Biblical redemption-story,
the promised future of a glorious eternity of bliss...
What if it is all a lie?
What if God isn't really a God of love, but a fierce dictator?
What if we get to heaven only to find out we've been tricked?
What if God is more like the Wizard of Oz - hiding behind a curtain of weakness and impotence?
What if He couldn't get Dorothy home? or take away fear? or give brains? or a new heart?
BUT, you see, I know better...
I know more...
I'm assured these are lies for one reason, no two... Nope, for sure three.
#1 Prophecy Fulfilled.
Everything, absolutely EVERYTHING, the Lord had promised and predicted through His prophets of Old has come to pass.
All He has declared to date, He has done.
He has proved through prophecy that He is not untrue to His Word.
God can not lie!
Because of prophecy (and even now I just looked at 40 Messianic prophecies alone that have come to pass from the Jews for Jesus website...) that is undeniable, irrefutable, miraculously beyond comprehension, there is a GUARANTEE of FUTURE EVENTS as they have been lined out for us...
There is no way prophecy fulfilled has happened by chance!!
Ask any researcher!
There are no "Buts or What if's" - the enemy of my soul can put those darts back in his arsenal!
In Him, we have seen God's face. To see Him is to see the Father God.
Not just His face, but His character. To know Him is to know the Father God.
And, Jesus-on-earth was an exact representation of His Heavenly Father (and mine).
He was anything but a Wizard of Oz...fake, cowardly, impotent, controlling...
Jesus was the authentic, vulnerable, God-man, loving all, healing the sick, having authority over storms, waves and the fish of the sea, defying death, and resurrecting back to life (talk about power!).
Jesus was sacrificial, loving, generous, grace-filled, yet angry at all the evil, immorality, and unbelief in the world He was born into (how would he feel today?)...
Jesus dealt firmly with the Religiously-corrupt, stripped the stigma and prejudice from the "lowly" (like shepherds, women, the poor, the Samaritans, and the sinners), and, He went head-to-toe with the demonic influences taking control over innocent people.
Jesus proved He was the Name above all Names, the King of the Jews, Yeshua (God Saves), Immanuel...
There is no way the "what ifs" the enemy tries to whisper in my ear are credible...I am more sure of them than I am my own existence on earth (have you ever seen Sixth Sense?)...
And those scars branded into my brain?
They are nothing more than a big reminder of why FAITH is worth living in the last days of Advent...
...and LIVING LARGE!
Oh, yes...the third reason?
I can not deny that from the moment I met Jesus, received Him to myself, my life has never been the same!
I'm living proof that Jesus is all He said He was and more...
He is Christ in me, THE HOPE OF GLORY (Col. 1:27)! And, I am being transformed into His likeness...