Signed, Sealed, Delivered For Christmas, and Hope at Christmastime

Signed, Sealed, Delivered for Christmas, and Hope at Christmastime

Copyright 2014 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer:Eike Schroter

In Signed, Sealed, and Delivered For Christmas, Oliver, Rita, Norman, and Shane (whom Oliver formally calls Ms. McInerney) have a very special job – they track down the recipients of undelivered mail, and deliver it to them. At Christmas time, they run the Dear Santa project, where they provide the gifts for children that they requested in their letters to Santa. At the last minute, they receive a letter that’s a little bit different – it was addressed to God, rather than Santa! It’s from a girl whose mother’s in the hospital. They do their best to track her down, and give her a Merry Christmas. Throughout the process, Ms. McInerney appears uncomfortable, due to memories of the Christmas her dad walked out on her, and she personally wrote a letter to God that she hadn’t received a response to. Also, Oliver is given another last minute letter to deliver that a child had sent to God a long time ago, but he just can’t seem to track down its writer. As the four of them help out the little girl whose mom is in the hospital, will the mystery solve itself?

The fact that her dad had left when she was a child and didn’t come back after she mailed her letter to God caused Ms. McInerney to reject Him. At one point, she opens up to Oliver about what happened that Christmas, and he says that sometimes, someone else having a great Christmas can cause us to relive our pain if we don’t let Christmas do its job, and that the way to hold firm in a storm is “. . . by trusting that that the one thing that matters in this world will never let go (of you).” He continues on to tell her “Perfect love casts out all that pain, all that fear, and replaces it with hope, and hope is what you were asking for.” He concludes by saying “. . . every Christmas since, hope is what you have been given . . . It’s right here for you.”

Maybe you’re dealing with a painful situation. Maybe, like Ms. McInerney, you’ve become skeptical towards God because of what you’re going through. Maybe the holidays, which are supposed to be filled with joy, seem to intensify the pain you’re going through, by contrast. If so, know that God’s perfect love is ready to meet you right where you are, and bring about healing in your life. The Christmas story is all about hope – hope for a world that couldn’t save itself, but now wouldn’t need to, because a Savior had been born. The hope that because of what He’s done for us, we can now approach God with confidence. Hope that no matter what’s going on in our lives, He will find a way to rescue us if we’ll open ourselves up to Him.

Romans 15:13 says “. . . may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Know that if you’ll come to God, He will cause you to overflow with hope this holiday season. Don’t keep your distance from Him. Turn to Him, and receive the hope that He is offering you!

10 Verses to Speak Over Your Life Every Day

10 Scriptures

In a previous post, we discussed how what we believe and are constantly speaking about ourselves and our lives is what we will often see happen, and how God wants us to believe what His Word says, speak words that agree with it, and see His promises to us come to pass. How can we do this?

First of all, before you can believe God’s Word, you need to take time to find out what it says. Secondly, once you’re spending time in God’s Word, one way to speak words that agree with it is to actually take promises from it and speak them over your life. Take a verse with a promise from God that you love, and declare what it says about you on a daily basis!

Not sure where to start? Here are 10 scriptures to speak over your life every day!

Standing Before God – “Because Jesus took my sin upon Himself, I am the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Favor – “God’s favor surrounds me like a shield!” (Psalm 5:12)

Wisdom – “I ask God for wisdom, and He gives me an abundant supply of it.” (James 1:7)

Health – “Because of the stripes that Jesus received when He was whipped, I am healed.” (Psalm 53:5)

Protection – “God keeps me from every kind of harm, and watches over me.” (Psalm 121:7)

Success – “Everything I put my hand to is blessed.” (Deuteronomy 28:8)

Finances – “God blesses me abundantly, so that I have all that I need, and can be generous to others at all times.” (2 Corinthians 9:8)

Peace – “I am not anxious, worried, or stressed because I keep my focus on God, and He keeps me in perfect peace.” (Isaiah 26:3)

Joy – “I am not depressed or downcast because sorrow and sighing flee from me, and gladness and everlasting joy are mine.” (Isaiah 52:22)

Forgiveness – “God has forgiven me for all of my sins – so completely that He no longer even remembers them!” (Hebrews 8:12)

 

A Stocking From God

stocking

Imagine a stocking filled to the brim with wonderful gifts – all kinds of things that you need and want the most. It’s from God, and it’s for you!

Maybe things have been going great, or maybe you’ve been facing some tough times. Whatever life’s like for you right now, there are many things God wants to give you this Christmas. He wants to give you hope where it may seem like there is none. He wants to give you joy, and a reason to rejoice. He wants to bring peace to your mind, to replace all worry and anxiety. He wants heal you, and make you whole. He wants to give you freedom from whatever may be holding you back from becoming who He created you to be. He desires to give you prosperity, and provide for your needs. He wants you to experience grace that covers even the worst of your mistakes. He wants to give you His love, which is like nothing you have ever known.

These are just a few of thing things that God wants to give you this Christmas season. These are the things that fill His stocking to you. He wants you to accept your stocking from Him, and to enjoy everything that’s in it. Open up your heart to Him this Christmas, let Him know you want all that He has for you. Watch what He will do in your life when you are willing to receive His stocking for you!

Reposted from Generation Arise.

The God Of Hope

The God Of HopeThis week’s memory verse from Called and Created’s Bible Reading and Memorization Plan is Romans 15:13. This verse says may the God of hope, as we trust in Him, fill us with joy and peace, that by the power of the Holy Spirit, we may overflow with hope.

Have you ever been in a situation that made you feel hopeless? No matter what we are facing, there’s no need for us to be without hope, because the God of hope is with us! If we ask Him, He will fill us with His joy and peace, which the world can’t take from us. As we fix our eyes upon Him, we will be lifted out of hopelessness, and overflow with hope!

God is the One from whom our hope comes (Psalm 62:5). If we place our hope in those around us, they will let us down, for try as they might, people make mistakes. God, on the other hand, is perfect. He will never let us down. Therefore, if we place our hope in Him, we will never be disappointed!

Allow the God of hope to fill you with joy and peace. Trust in Him, and find hope, regardless of your circumstances!

Shout For Joy

Shout For JoyThis week’s memory verse from Called and Created’s Bible Reading and Memorization Plan is Psalm 100:1-2. These verses say to shout for joy to the Lord, worship Him with gladness, and come before Him with songs of joy.

Our God is a good God. He is the giver of every good and perfect gift in our lives (James 1:17). He sent His Son to save us. His grace is far greater than our mistakes (Romans 5:20). His love for us is unconditional.

Doesn’t all of this make you want to give thanks to Him? Worship is our response to God’s goodness, love, and grace. When we know who He is, and what He has done for us, it causes us to desire to praise Him!

Let’s shout for joy to the Lord, rejoicing in His amazing grace and unconditional love. Let’s worship Him with gladness, giving thanks for all He has done for us. Let’s come before Him with songs of joy, praising Him for who He is as our Heavenly Father!

FRUIT of the Spirit

FRUIT of the Spirit

Week 31 of Called and Created’s Bible Reading and Memorization Plan is drawing to a close. This week’s reading was Galatians 3-6, and Ephesians 1. These chapters finish Paul’s letter to the church at Galatia, and begin his letter to the church at Ephesus.

Galatians 5:22-23 lists the fruit of the Spirit as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Notice that these qualities are called the FRUIT of the Spirit, not the WORKS of the Spirit! In other words, gaining possession of these qualities isn’t something we are to do on our own. They are the natural outflowing of the Spirit of God that is inside of us. The closer we draw to Him, the more we will become like Him.

Do trees struggle and strive to produce fruit? No, they don’t. It’s just a natural part of how they function. In the same way, we aren’t to struggle and strive, trying to walk in the fruit of the Spirit by our own might. Like any fruit, it will grow naturally – as we get to know our Heavenly Father better, and allow His grace and love to transform us from the inside out!

Don’t treat the fruit of the Spirit as a list of qualities you’d love to have, but must constantly be working to try to live in. Treat it instead as fruit that you know will grow naturally in your life, because of the Spirit of God is living inside of you, and working within you!

Filled With Joy In His Presence

Filled With Joy In His PresenceThis week’s memory verse from Called and Created’s Bible Reading and Memorization Plan is Psalm 16:11. This verse says that our Heavenly Father will make known to us the path of life, and that He will fills us with joy in His presence, and eternal pleasures at His right hand.

Do you feel depressed? Discouraged? Defeated? Are you in need of joy? Spend some time in God’s presence. Let Him reveal to you just how much He loves you, and just how amazing His grace really is. Begin to understand that you are valued, treasured, and cherished by Him, as His beloved child. Know that the One who created the universe knows and cares for you personally as your Heavenly Father, and let that knowledge bring you joy beyond what you’ve ever experienced before.

God loves you. He knows what you are feeling, and He doesn’t want you to be filled with defeat, depression, discouragement, anxiety, fear, or worry. He wants you to experience the fullness of joy that his found in His presence. Draw near to Him, and allow Him to fill you with His surpassing joy!