In this issue:
- Holy Decorations
- Open Up The Heavens
*Watch for Linda’s new book, Words Aptly
Spoken, coming out in early 2009!
Mike and Linda Schreurs
Happy Birthday, Jesus!
We have a tradition at our home for those whose birthdays will require a lot of candles on the cake. We only put three on it representing the past, present and future of the life being celebrated. It’s fun and easier.
Three is a good number for Jesus birthday cake as well because He covers our past, present and future. Certainly He encompasses those realms as the Second Person of the Holy Trinity; He is the “fullness of deity.” (Col. 2:9) Not only that, He is the Light of the world and that is the biggest candle of all! (John 8:12) What a time to celebrate!
So it is, with warm and happy hearts that we send you our most sincere Christmas greeting and blessing for 2008. May you know the Savior’s love in an astounding, new, fresh and vibrant way that forever marks this memorable season of your life!
Linda and Mike Schreurs
Have you been stunned by God’s love? Have you been enraptured by His magnificent glory? You know, ‘tinsel town’ never looked so good as it does in our own area of habitation, which is our heart. This results through abiding under the shadow of the strongest Tree known to man, the Righteous Branch of God, the Lord Jesus Christ. (Isa. 11:1) He affords us the greatest hope and comfort beyond worldly measure. (Pv. 11:30) When we sing the old Christmas song about “tidings of comfort and joy,” this is a sparkling, beautiful gift that is totally affordable! Jesus paid the price on Calvary’s Tree. We have no debt, only love, when we’re in divine, holy habitation with Him. So go ahead and shout! Sing! Dance! Celebrate!
Worldly glittery gifts
You and I can actually walk every day of our lives filled with comfort and joy. How? It’s God’s gift of peace to us through His Word made flesh, Jesus, the Son of God, our Price of Peace! When you enter into a relationship of spiritual intimacy with the lover of your soul, you possess astounding comfort and joy. Worldly souls cannot understand it because they’re consumed in the consumerism of fake comfort and joy through their silver, gold and glittery gifts under tinseled Christmas trees. The world’s ‘stuffings’ of fame and fortune cannot hold a candle to the profound gift of salvation, healing, deliverance and forgiveness that is found only in Messiah Jesus.
For a lost and dying world, it doesn’t get any better than when our tears and pain are swallowed up on Calvary’s Tree. The Word of God made flesh illumines every dark area of our lives when we turn to His Living Light. “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” (John 1:4)
The tree topper
Jesus is the tree topper! He’s the Righteous Branch. He’s the Root. (Isa. 11:10) He’s the Vine. He’s the Vine keeper. (John 15) So don’t let this divine season pass you by without knowing these truths for yourself. Bring to the Savior any broken pieces of your life and place your trust in Him who knows the color, shape and twinkle in your eyes. He loves you so much and you are His special delight!
This baby, this child, this man Jesus, is a light unto your path. (Ps. 119:105) My precious friend, if you’re one who has felt alone, abandoned, abused, hurt, neglected… climb up out of your pit and look at the brightness of His eyes, this Lamb of God who humbled Himself as an infant. He came to die. He was born to die, born to be our bloody sacrifice for our darkest sins. Is this not cause for the greatest celebration of love on earth?! Come on now, rise up! Look at Him, even if it’s for the first time in your life, let that exuberant song come forth from your grateful and enriched heart!
Looking to Jesus, the Savior of our soul, mind and body, puts the brightest gleam in one’s eye. Truly, at that moment of realization, the Light of the World illumines every area of your life. Darkness is swallowed up. Not one person is lost who receives this divine road map of salvation and recovery in their lives.
Top of the list
Heart alert! Make sure Jesus is at the top of your Christmas list! It is His birthday. It is His celebration. Those who have not placed Him as the highest priority, or who have not given any thought to what they can bring to Him – not just on this occasion of Christmas – but every day, will suffer shortages and blockages in their walk God.
Don’t be an ol’ Scrooge! Let loose with your accolades to the Savior of your soul!
Let’s assume that because of this glorious joy of salvation you’ve experienced, that you now can’t wait to give a birthday present to Jesus! What might that be?
We can begin in the following manner:
What is your gift?
Your eyes - Stay focused on Him. Keep them pure.
Your ears - Spend time listening so you can hear the Lord’s voice. Be still and know God as Psalm 46:10 says.
Your mind - Let it be toward Him and not the fleeting things of earth.
Your tongue - Let Him hold it or release it as is proper to giving Him glory.
Your face - Give Him a joyful countenance. Remember too, that ‘make up’ cannot ‘cover up’ a soulish nature. Allow the Lord to give you a ‘face lift.’
Your feet - Wear your Gospel shoes everywhere you go. We are not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Don’t be afraid to let it be known whose feet you bow to!
Your hands - Wash them thoroughly in wisdom through every action you take.
Wear fragrance/cologne. The most beautiful designer perfume on earth is found in Christ. (2 Cor. 2:15) The Designer Himself is the Rose of Sharon. And it can be applied to men and women!
Clothing - Your festive attire is the garment of praise for any spirit of heaviness that may try to rip or tear at your joyful countenance. (Isa. 61:3)
Your heart - Every piece of it.
Fellowship - Spend time with Him just soaking in His Presence, loving Him for all He’s worth. He’s so worthy of our time and effort in seeking communion and intimacy with Him.
Ponder Romans 13:12-14 as a good gift for our Lord. “The night is almost gone, and the day is at hand. Let us therefore lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.” Well said, don’t you think?
What about a ‘toast’ to God? This holiday season, raise your heart - your vessel, to the Lord. Honor Him with a ‘cheery countenance’ verses a downcast face. Either one is contagious to those around you. Which do you prefer to spread? What legacy will you leave to your friends and loved ones?
A cheerful heart does one good like medicine. It’s the holy wine of God. It makes the heart glad. “A joyful heart makes a cheerful face.” (Pv. 15:13) Is your face aglow with His Presence? Is your life speaking loud and clear through righteous living? Is your CHIRSTmas message getting out to those around you? Or have you eaten bitter herbs and spoiled spices causing anger, resentment and a host of other things that do not give glory to God?
We don’t have to go around singing a song all the time, but certainly our lives need to be a barometer of the intimate relationship we have with the Divine lover of our soul. He makes all things new! (Rev. 21:5) Take this moment, this day that you’ve been given, and praise Him to the highest heaven! He is worthy!
So I want to encourage you to not let your CHRSTmas tree be empty and bare of any gifts to the Christ child. He came for you. He’s coming again for you when Armageddon’s battle wraps up earthly things forever. Will you be taken with Him, or rebuked by Him? It’s worth pondering.
You don’t have to wear the weight of the world. He already did. So give your ‘stuff’ to Jesus – all the hurts, pains, agonies of life that come to everyone of us to some degree or another. Invite Him in! Make room in your heart for His warm and never-ending embrace. It doesn’t get any better than that!
OPEN UP THE HEAVENS!
Dare yourself to go outside, look deep into the night sky, and ask the Lord to open up the heavens just as He did for the shepherd on that first Christmas morning. He’s done it before, He’ll do it again! Take Luke 2:13 and run with it to the highest heaven with petitions for manifestations in your life and those around you. Let this special CHRIST season become one of manifest glory that invades your space and place right now.
In the above mentioned passage of Luke, we are astounded with these words, “And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God…” Do you hear the host of heaven praising God? It’s possible, you know!
Do not think for one minute that you cannot ask for such a thing. No one deserves to experience such glory. But because of the divine favor of God’s children, we can come to Him and ask whatever we may, and if we believe that we have it, it shall be ours! His holy Word is true to the core of our innermost being. Have you embraced the challenge presented in Matthew 7:7-8? It says: “Ask, and it shall be given to you, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks, finds, and to him who knocks, it shall be opened.”
Ponder further in that same chapter, verse 11, during this gift-giving season of CHRISTmas: “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give you what is good to those who ask Him.” That’s a homerun in my book!
Do you long for more than status quo Christianity? Then run to the Lord’s heart harder and faster than at any other time in your life. It’s time to make an accelerated dash into His extended arms in yet untapped ways.
You may be saying, “Why ask for such things as to see the heavens open?” Because it will tether your heart to the Lord in vibrant experiences you could not otherwise have known. Salvation of course, is the building block, the stepping stone. But we’ve got to understand there’s so much more to know and experience in Christ Jesus.
The Lord really does want us to grow beyond normal Christianity into an extraordinary life in Him. He’s desirous to make a distinction upon His people, especially at this epic hour of humanity. (Deut. 26:16-19) We must run to Him and participate in all that He has for us. “For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.” (2 Chron. 16:9) I don’t know about you, but I want His eyes to catch my gaze. I want the fire of His eyes to fall on me. May it be true of you as well. (Rev. 1:14)
Mike and I pray that you’ll have the merriest, happiest, holiest, most peaceful, joyful, set apart CHRISTmas of your life!