Our thanks-giving continues while we are waiting to celebrate Christmas,
and like the expectant atmosphere in the Bethlehem stable,
now, perhaps more than before in our lifetime,
we are expectant of Christ’s coming .. again soon!
Give thanks to God always .. because God chose you from the beginning to be saved,
through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.
To this he called you .. so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
So then .. stand firm .. (2 Thess. 2:13-15 RSV)
God chooses us and gives us faith. God calls us to bear Christ to the world, even when it is difficult ... when we think it is impossible ... when we are criticized for our faith ... when He asks us to receive or do something that does not make sense to us. He provides His strength to accomplish our obedience.
God’s training is for now, not later. His purpose is for this very minute, not for sometime in the future. We have nothing to do with what will
follow our obedience, and we are wrong to concern ourselves with it. What people call preparation, God sees as the goal itself.
God’s purpose is to enable me to see that He can walk on the storms of my life right now. If we have a further goal in mind, we are not paying
enough attention to the present time. However, if we realize that moment-by-moment obedience is the goal, then each moment as it comes is
precious. - Oswald Chambers
God let His Son live as a baby in the care of earthly parents, knowing that they were not sufficient, but that He was sufficient to complete their purpose for His glory. Now we pray, believing that our children and grandchildren will have His sufficiency for these times. Mary & Joseph needed to trust God when His ways were not theirs, when His thoughts were not theirs. They would have wanted to protect their child from criticism and harm, and yet God’s plan included both. He was watching over His Son, their child, as Jesus lived in obedience to His heavenly Father. “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” (3 John 4)
God has given us His purpose in this time of history (Acts 17:26-27). His Word directs and strengthens us each day. As we keep our minds fixed on Jesus, looking up for His Second Coming, we praise Him for His mercy and grace that surround us. We are thankful that He chooses to work through us to bring His Light and Salvation to others.
We must forever give thanks to God for you, .. loved by the Lord, because God chose from the very first to give you salvation, cleansing you
by the work of the Holy Spirit and by your trusting in the Truth. (2 Thess 2:13 TLB)