SEEK GOD'S PRESENCE

SEEK GOD’S PRESENCE

Christmas time is a time where we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. We gather together with family and exchange gifts with one another to show our love and to remember the ultimate gift that was given to us – Jesus Christ. Christmas itself is really about a big present that God gave the world about 2000 years ago – His one and only Son, Jesus. John 3:16 says, “God loved the world so much, that he gave his one and only Son, so that whoever believes in him may not be lost but have eternal life.”

Jesus was and is the best present that we could ever receive. And He is the only present that will never fade away. “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” (Isaiah 40:8) This Christmas season, I want to encourage you to seek the most precious gift of all – Jesus. Above all else, seek His presence (His face) and not just His presents (his hand or what He can do for you).

In God’s presence, you will find REST. In His presence, you will find PEACE. In His presence, you will find JOY. In His presence, you will find STRENGTH. I encourage you to take some precious time and spend it in God’s presence today. 1 Chronicles 16:11 says, “Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.”

Christmas time can be a stressful time with so much to do, presents to wrap, food to cook, places to go, and maybe some unpleasant past memories. Psalm 91 says, “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain STABLE and FIXED under the shadow of the Almighty (Whose power no foe can withstand).” This Psalm reminds us to dwell in God’s presence where we will remain stable and fixed. If you feel a tide of emotions come over you, return to the secret place of the Most High (take a spiritual time-out and seek His presence), and cry out to God. When we do that, the Lord promises to intervene on our behalf and help us.

I love spiritual time-outs and I give myself one often (sometimes several daily). Whenever I find myself getting agitated, out of peace, or weary - I have learned to take a 10-15 min time-out and seek God’s presence to renew my mind and refresh my soul. Matthew 11:28-30 says, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will cause you to rest. (I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.) Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Spending time with Jesus does more to restore our bodies, minds, and emotions than anything else we can do.

God can give us a peace that this world cannot give us. John 14:27 says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” This scripture tells us that Jesus has provided us peace, but we most pursue it and not allow our hearts to be troubled or afraid. We are to seek the peace that only He can give us and refuse to live without it.

Seeking God for Who He is, not just for what He can do for us, assures us, “fullness of joy”. Psalm 16:11 says, “You will show me the path of life; in your presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore.”

Isaiah 40:31 also reminds us that as we wait on Lord (expect, look for, and hope in Him), we shall renew our strength and not become faint or tired. God RESTORES OUR SOULS when we spend time with Him – in His Word and in His presence. I want to encourage you to take the time today (give yourself a spiritual time-out) and rest in God’s presence. Spend time praying and reading His Word so that you will be filled with His PEACE, His JOY, and His STRENGTH. Allow God to refresh your precious soul today.

Have a Merry Christmas! Amber Cunningham

“Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15)

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