Thank you all for your prayers yesterday. I ask that you please lift up Mr. Adam’s family again, and pray for them to have comfort in this time of loss. My family and I have been praying intensely for all those who have suffered great loss in 2020. Pastor Steven Furtick preached an inspiring message about this year over the weekend. Click on the message below to hear his take on this trying year.
Today is gloomy and overcast. The cold front that moved in on Monday brought behind it two days of nothing but gray clouds and cold air. If we could drop another 20 degrees, we might even get some snow this winter in southeast Georgia. There’s a lot of fear and gloom still looming in the atmosphere in America right now, but for the next ten days, I really want y’all to focus on the joy and blessing of Christmas. Focused on what was born Christmas day: the baby boy who changed the world. Hope, Peace, Love, all wrapped in a small little bundle in a stable on a cold, clear night.
We’ve breached the top #10! of my favorite Christmas songs and today I am sharing two originals from two of Christian music’s best female voices. First up is Ms. Lauren Daigle‘s “Light of the World.” I love the lyrics to this song. And Ms. Daigle’s voice is so unique and so soulful, anything she sings is a joy to hear.
And tied for number #10 is Ms. Francesca Battistelli’s “You’re Here,” a beautiful melody sung from the perspective of Mary, as she holds her Baby the night of that first Christmas. With lyrics like “Look at your hands, they’re still so small. Someday you’re going to stretch them out and save us all,” this song paints such a touching story that any parent should relate to: the first time they hold their baby. But here was Mary, the world’s most important mother, holding God’s Son. She knew the importance of Jesus’ birth. She understood the miracle of her conception. She knew who she was holding in her hands. Yet, this was the first time she met Jesus, and what she did not know at that point was exactly how Jesus was going to save the world. Friends, we have got to use this season to remind the world of who Jesus is and how He set the example of what we need to do to bring salvation to Earth. We need to let love lead, let love win, let love live in this world like never before.
6Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth-to every nation, tribe, language and people. 7He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.” (Revelation 14: 6, 7)
In Chapter 14, John told of the vision of three angels. The first we see in the verses above. The second prophecies about the fall of Babylon. And the third warns against worshipping the beast. I’ll never forget that the night between me writing yesterday’s devotion and this one, I had a call for police service where there was a man who suffered from schizophrenia and he had called 911 out of fear for his life. When we arrived on scene, we had a tough time communicating with him because he was hard of hearing. I had him write out what had happened to him on my note pad. He wrote, “I heard the beast.” When I read that title, the beast, I felt the hairs on my neck stand on edge. We had found him pacing in the parking lot holding his large Bible. I asked him permission to search his apartment for anyone, or anything. So I cleared his apartment with another officer, halfway hoping the beast would be in the apartment and I could remind him how great my God is. The apartment was empty, but before we locked it up I said a prayer commanding any evil spirits out of the home in the name of Jesus Christ.
This man, with all his mental disabilities, had a greater sense of faith and connection to God than many much more intellectual people. His faith made him brilliant to me. Perhaps he even did hear the beast attacking his heart. As frightening as that would be, it’s invigorating, because, as I have said before: The devil’s attacking you for a reason. He’s scared and he can’t afford to lose the battle. But the battle has already been won my friends, and the victory is the Lord’s. We’ll be seeing how glorious that victory is in the second half of this month as we close out the Book of Revelation.
Reading plan: Revelation 16
Deeper reading plan: Zechariah 12
Prayer and meditation: We continue to pray that the world comes together to celebrate the birth of Jesus. We pray that the miracle of the child in the manger changes this world forever, as it should have nearly 2000 years ago. This week we will also add a prayer for all the lonely and those who mourn during the holidays. We pray they draw close to Jesus as Jesus is close to them.
Fitness challenge: We’re going to take Wednesday as an extra rest (recover) day.
Run: Sprint work-out. We’ll mix it up this month between ladder work and longer sprints
½ mile warm-up
200, 400, 800, 800, 400, 200 for three rounds
½ mile cool-down