As we approach the season when many people around the globe join us in celebrating the birth of Jesus, let’s take time out of our busy schedules to reflect on the wonderful message of Christmas:
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6, ESV)
And as we reflect on the wise men who came to worship him from afar, laying before Him their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, may we also worship Him, raising our voices with the heavenly hosts in exalting and adoring Him.
God’s Greatest Gift
The gifts from the wise men were meaningful and valuable. Yet they paled in comparison to the ultimate treasure. Our Father gave us the most wonderful gift when He sent His only begotten Son to die, that all men might be saved.
Today, as during the time of His birth, life, ministry, death, burial, and resurrection, Jesus is drawing us to Himself, calling us to a deeper walk—to worship Him in spirit and truth!
The treasures that await you are greater than you can handle right now, which is why He has to prepare you for getting closer and closer to Him. He wants you to know Him more deeply, but nothing will be given to you nor will anything be shown to you until you say Yes! to Him and mean it with all your heart. Then He will begin to draw you into His own blessed presence.
Our Lord wants intimacy with you. He created you for worship. He designed you so that He could reveal His heart to you:
“That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me” (John 17:21).
That depth of oneness is indescribable with human words.
The longer I serve Christ, the more I understand that intimacy with Him is both priceless and uncommon.
A Life-Changing Vision
When I was a young man, just beginning my walk with the Lord Jesus, I had a powerful vision. Though I did not fully understand the vision at that time, the longer I’ve served Jesus the more I have come to understand its meaning.
In this vision, I saw a figure of myself, entrapped by overwhelming ugliness and bleakness. In the distance, I could see Jesus, and I began crying out, “Oh, Lord, can’t you see that he’s a cripple? Can’t you see that he is bound? Please go touch him!”
The Lord ignored me as I said those words, and He just kept repeating the same word to the disfigured Benny in the vision: “Come. Come. Come.”
That bound-up person could hardly move because of the terrible darkness all around him. Then I saw that the prisoner was fighting against his wrappings. Everything in him was fighting to get out of that bondage.
This went on for some time. I kept praying for the bound Benny, and I saw him slowly, slowly coming out of the darkness. Eventually he was able to move very slowly, then he was able to move freely. It was agonizing to watch what was happening.
In time, the bound Benny was able to stand tall and straight, even though the horrible darkness kept trying to pull him back in. As the freed Benny continued moving closer to the presence of Jesus, the terrible atmosphere lost its grip on him and I saw him completely disappear. The Benny in my vision was gone! All I could see was Jesus!
The Bible tells us, “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2 Corinthians 3:17). I literally saw this happening! It amazes me to this day.
I was shaken and moved mightily for some time afterward. I remember praying, “Lord, what would happen to me if I should walk away?” He told me, “You would walk right back into your bondage. Away from Me is darkness. Only in My presence is liberty.”
Liberty and Peace Through Our Precious Lord Jesus
How often have we walked away and not realized how serious the consequences would be? Worse, how often have we simply neglected our fellowship with Him, only to realize that He has walked away while we busied ourselves with other things?
The Lord Jesus said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Matthew 16:24). Jesus did not say, “I will follow you.” He said, “Follow Me!”
Where He goes, you must follow, if you want to be in His presence. He doesn’t always tell you where He is going, but He says, “Trust Me.” The alternative—not going with Him—means that you are headed back into darkness and destruction. Jesus wants you to be right where He is so you can stay free forever.
Sometimes we get so caught up in our busy lives, our ministries, or our families that Jesus takes second place, then third place, then fourth, and the next thing you know, you are too tired to pray. Your spiritual life starts to die. Your heart knows you are in trouble, but you aren’t sure what to do, so you keep on being busy.
It is a dangerous place to be.
I made a decision a long time ago that I would never go back. Again and again I have made that decision to never leave the glorious presence of Jesus Christ. And I believe God is calling each of us today to make that decision.
Only when we seek Him can we find true peace!
We need to be reminded of this, not only at Christmas, but throughout the year!
Peace at the Feet of Jesus
Regardless of where you are right now with the Lord, the only place of rest and peace is at the feet of the Master. Away from Him are chaos, confusion, and pain. Only at the feet of Jesus Christ do we find peace for the soul and assurance in our hearts.
I urge you today with all my heart, to find the “peace of God, which passeth all understanding” (Philippians 4:7). You can find it only in the blessed presence of Jesus. Only there worshipping at His feet can you find His peace and everlasting glory. Only there can you discover how His peace fills your life to the point that nothing can offend you or stop you.
But so many around the world have no hope for peace because they don’t know Jesus. They desperately need to hear that Jesus saves and Jesus heals!
I need your help today to tell others about the healer of broken hearts, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ of Galilee. If not us, then who? If not now, then when? We are surrounded by people of all ages and backgrounds who are in trouble—spiritually, mentally, physically—and the devil is fighting to keep those strongholds in place. Only Jesus can break through!
I’m asking God—as never before—to use me for His majesty, to bring healing to the wounded, the broken, the downcast, and the tormented. Believe me, I have been there, and I know the way out. I’ve had a healing ministry to the physically sick, but I want to focus even more than ever on the wounded in heart, knowing God’s promise:
“For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord” (Jeremiah 30:17).
Help me share the glorious Gospel to a deeply wounded generation. The world is open as never before. These troubling times are causing people to question everything, even their most deeply held beliefs. They want to hear real truth, real answers to their most overwhelming challenges. And we know there is only one answer for the world today: Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!
Today, even as you enjoy the activities of this precious time of year, sow your seed in faith for the Gospel. Sow your seed for God’s work. Wrap your seed with your faith and sow it with cheerful excitement, for God has promised that as you obey Him, He will give you back financial blessings so great that there will not be room enough to receive them (Malachi 3:10)!
Warmest wishes for the Christmas season,