Christian Perspective

Encouragement

 
 

December 2007

"Seek the LORD, and his strength: seek his face evermore." Psalm 105:4

www.christianperspective.net
info@christianperspective.net

Thought: There Is Hope!

Although I didn’t put it into words, I was feeling discouraged. I had tried and tried, but no matter what I did I kept falling into the same old ruts once again. I sure seemed hopeless…

When we look at ourselves, we always will end up discouraged and despairing. But we don’t have to look at ourselves. There is hope for our hopeless hearts. A Savior has been born to us, Christ the Lord.

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11

Christ didn’t come to give us rules to keep or make us perfect Christians; He came to be our Savior because He knew we were hopeless. He came to claim our fallen nature as His own and to offer us His life and His righteousness. Because of Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection, we have an eternal hope.

That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. Ephesians 2: 12-13

Next time you feel overcome by your own failings, stop and remember the Christmas message. A Savior has been born. There is hope—a hope not that we’ll ever get it right, but a hope because Jesus already got it right. Because He came, we can have His righteousness around us. There is hope—if we will only accept it.

May you each have a blessed Christmas and New Year’s rejoicing in the hope Jesus Christ brought us. Merry Christmas to you all!


Story: I Don’t Want to Change!

“But I don’t want to change,” Deborah repeated for what must have been the fifteenth time that afternoon. For years, Deborah had lived the life of a pauper. The open sky had been her shelter; the generosity of passerby’s her income. Now her father stood before her, offering her what he had offered her every day of her life—to give her a new life with him.

“But, Deborah, why would you insist on clinging to your pauper ways when I offer you a way of escape?”

Deborah could hear the pain in her father’s voice. Nevertheless, she stubbornly shook her head and replied, “I don’t want to change,” she repeated again. “I like the way things are.”

“But just last week, you complained about how you went to bed hungry. And don’t you remember how miserable life can be in the rain?”

Deborah paused as she contemplated these points. It was true. Life could get very miserable out on the streets. But give up the life she’d known? Oh, no, that she could never do! She would much rather go on complaining, even while ignoring the solution to her complaints.

“I can’t change, Father,” Deborah argued. “I’m too set in my ways. It’s just a hopeless case. I tried a few months back to give up this life, remember? And the very first day I was back on the streets! I just can’t help it!”

“Oh, but you could! I would help you! You could come live with me. I would give you other things to do besides aimlessly roaming the streets in this fashion. We could have so much fun together! Oh, do come!” Deborah’s father reached out his hand as if to invite her to join him in happiness.

Deborah shook her head. “I just can’t change,” she repeated.

“You can’t, or you won’t?” The question was made in a voice barely above a whisper. Deborah made no reply. She simply turned and walked down the street to continue her self-imposed miserable life.

Deborah’s father forced back the tears as he watched his daughter leave. He slowly turned and walked away. He would come back again tomorrow. Maybe then his daughter would be ready to accept his gift of love.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16


Homeschool Tip: Live in Hope

-- By Cris Loop

The house is a mess. Your child is doing the same thing you’ve already punished him for ten times this week. You hardly feel like the “perfect” mom you long to be. Discouragement sets in, and you just want to give up. If only your child would change…

When these discouraging thoughts grip you, stop and remember that you aren’t and never will be that perfect mom…and your children won’t ever be perfect either. Rejoice in the knowledge that Christ’s robe of righteousness surrounds you. Your standing with Him has nothing to do with your performance. You are His child because He has made you His child. And the same is true for your children. 

After allowing the truth that only God is righteous set in, ask God to show you the things that HE wants to change. They may be different than what you had in mind. Earnestly seek His strength and wisdom. Let Him start by transforming YOUR heart. Surrender to Him all your expectations and begin thanking Him for the challenges He brings your way. Remember that you can’t change yourself, your spouse, or your children—but that God can and will if you surrender and seek Him. But be aware: His changes may not be the same ones you had in mind. His goal is for you and your family to know Him, not to be the “perfect” family.

This month, my prayer for you is that you will remember God is in the business of changing us into the likeness of His Son.  Surrender, seek Him, and let Him work—there is hope because God is faithful—Jesus has come—and He is coming again!


Hymn/Poem: Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

- Charles Wesley. Found in the Cyber Hymnal (www.cyberhymnal.org). The last two verses of this song, though often omitted from hymnals, are a beautiful reminder that Christ came to bring us eternal hope.

Hark! The herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King;
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!”

Joyful, all ye nations rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;
With th’ angelic host proclaim,
“Christ is born in Bethlehem!”
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!”

Christ, by highest Heav’n adored;
Christ the everlasting Lord;
Late in time, behold Him come,
Offspring of a virgin’s womb.

Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
Hail th’incarnate Deity,
Pleased with us in flesh to dwell,
Jesus our Emmanuel.
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!”

Hail the heav’nly Prince of Peace!
Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings,
Ris’n with healing in His wings.

Mild He lays His glory by,
Born that man no more may die.
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!”

Come, Desire of nations, come,
Fix in us Thy humble home;
Rise, the woman’s conqu’ring Seed,
Bruise in us the serpent’s head.

Now display Thy saving power,
Ruined nature now restore;
Now in mystic union join
Thine to ours, and ours to Thine.
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!”

Adam’s likeness, Lord, efface,
Stamp Thine image in its place:
Second Adam from above,
Reinstate us in Thy love.

Let us Thee, though lost, regain,
Thee, the Life, the inner man:
O, to all Thyself impart,
Formed in each believing heart.
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!”

 

Unless otherwise indicated, articles are written by Katherine Loop, 2007.  Where marked Cris Loop, articles written by Christina Loop, © 2007. Feel free to pass these e-mails or articles by Katherine or Cris Loop within these e-mails along to others (please include a link to our web site when you do). If you do not regularly receive Christian Perspective's monthly e-mails and updates and would like to receive them, please send your e-mail address to info@christianperspective.net or sign up on our web site, www.christianperspective.net.   If you would like to be removed from the e-mail list, simply let us know, and we will promptly remove you. We always enjoy hearing from you. Drop us a line sometime and share with us your thoughts and suggestions.

Graphic provided by www.GraphicsFactory.com and used with permission. Storing this graphic or reusing it in any way is prohibited.

Unless otherwise indicated and where marked KJV, scripture is taken from the King James Version.

Where marked NASB, scripture is taken from Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.