Let Jesus Show You His HEART This Christmas

Christmas Delight with Jesus LOVE

Daily Spirit & Word; 652: This Christmas With Jesus.

He knows, understands and wants to meet all your most basic needs in life today.

To be loved, understood and needed.

At Christmas time there’s a feeling that we’ve just got to be happy. Well yesterday I conducted a wonderful Carol Service at West Norwood Crematorium, it was arranged by Lambeth Crematorium and Cemetery Staff, refreshments were provided by Yeateman’s & Sons and volunteers from St Christopher’s Hospice served the drinks and mince pies. Before the refreshments we gathered in the Crematorium chapel and as I led the Service it struck me deeply that this Christmas there are going to be lots of people who will not feel very happy, but in fact they’ll be deeply grief stricken, because they’ve lost someone who’s very precious and dear to them. Some will feel very lonely, other’s will perhaps be angry that the Lord has taken them away. There will be an emptiness inside someone’s heart this Christmas. There is someone who can fill that emptiness with love and renewed joy.

We all know that human beings have three basic needs in life:

  • The need to feel loved, 
  • The need to feel understood,
  • The need to feel wanted.

The NEED to feel LOVED.

Being lonely at the best of times is horrible, but at Christmas it’s heightened. The need to feel loved is a basic need within each and every human heart. Of course you’ll get hard-hearted individualistic people who’ll say, “I don’t need people, I love my own company”, but that just reveals that somewhere along the road of their life, they’ve been deeply hurt, perhaps as a child, and they’ve got tough to compensate for the lack of love they received. These types of people are not very loving towards others and find it very difficult to sympathise when people struggle with their emotions. If only they’d let their guard down for a moment, admit their hurt and be open to being hurt again, then they’d be ready to feel the LOVE of another person again. But the vast majority of people today, know that they need to feel loved and to express love towards others.

My friends, we have someone who came into this world just to let you, the lonely and those who’re on their own this Christmas, just how much He loves you: The LORD Jesus Christ. He came as a baby, but lived a life of love to the end. On the Cross Jesus was demonstrating just how much He loves us, so that we will never, ever feel lonely again. When we come to Jesus, He comes to us and will NEVER leave us alone again. That’s an awesome thought for the lonely this Christmas. Yes we do need other people as well, but we’ve always got Jesus with us.

The NEED to feel UNDERSTOOD.

Have you ever heard someone say, “You just don’t understand me, you don’t get me”… We all love to be understood by others. We want people to know what life is like for me. So often everybody is only concerned for themselves. However, at Christmas time, we’re forced to think about other people. This is where being alone is an advantage, because you only have to think about yourself. However, God’s given us a mission upon this earth, and it involves the Command to LOVE others, that means we’re going to have to know people well in order to understand them. To get into their life and know what their needs are. Do you understand the folks around you. They have a basic need to be understood.

God understands you my friends. He gets you. He knows all about your life and your needs and desires. However, in order to get those basic needs of being understood met, we’ve got to be delighting in Him. Psalm 37: tells us, “Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart”… To get the one, we’ve got to do the other.

The NEED to feel WANTED:

Imagine going through life without ever being wanted? There’s nothing worse than feeling excluded.

It begins at school when they are choosing people to be on their side in a sport and you get to the point when they choose everybody else but you. Yes there are the popular ones, the ones that are great at football, then the ones who are liked by everybody, then there’s you at the end of the line. The feelings of not being wanted, for some people, begin at a very young age. We ALL love to feel wanted or needed by others. I’ll never forget the feeling a few years ago now, when someone, who I thought of as a friend said to me, in fact it was two people, “You don’t have any friends here”… I did have lots of friends, but what they said hit home and I was shocked into silence “I’m not your friend”…. It hurt deeply, but thanks be to the Lord Jesus, He’s helped me to see that it was just them and I’m now able to love them even though they don’t or won’t love me.

Even though people say and do terrible things to you, there is someone who’ll always love you: Jesus. I know it sounds a bit soppy, but it’s true. He not only loves you and understands you, but He wants you to be on His team. He’s got so many lovely things He wants you to do just for Him. You are NEEDED by Jesus.

My friends, let go of the hurt this Christmas and take Jesus Christ as your friend; You’ll find in Him someone who really does LOVE you for who you are, He understands you and get you, He knows what you need in life and He needs you too. He’s got a great plan for you.

Will you let Jesus show you afresh this Christmas that you are loved?

Will you, in turn and through joyfilled appreciation, love others in response to Jesus love?

Hebrews 13:1-8
1 Keep on loving each other as brothers.
2  Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.
3  Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow-prisoners, and those who are ill-treated as if you yourselves were suffering.
4  Marriage should be honoured by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.
5  Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
6  So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”
7  Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.
8  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever.

What will you do this Christmas with Jesus LOVE?

If you are heart-broken; Jesus came to mend broken hearts.

If you are lonely; Jesus came to give you Himself and be with you forever.

If you are in need of anythings, delight yourself in the LORD and He’ll give your heart’s desires. (Psalm 37).

Love others, Understand others, Show others that they are needed.

Jesus NEVER changes;

He’s the same; yesterday, today and forever.

Jesus loves YOU today.

Jesus wants everyone to know Just how much they are LOVED and WANTED and NEEDED this Christmas.

You can be His means of expressing His love: Be filled with God’s Spirit and really LOVE others this Christmas, go out of your way to make Christmas special for everyone, regardless of who they are.

Have an awesome Saturday with Jesus.

Don.

 

P.S> Come and join us tonight at St Luke’s. To sing Carols, and get some wonderful Christmas gifts in the Church. Enjoy the lantern parade, because Jesus Christ is the Light of the world.

 

St Luke’s Church, West Norwood, 4-8pm Christmas Lights.

Lights being turned on by a local West Norwood celebrity.

 

Jesus Presence For Your Despair.

When Feeling Desperate Jesus is Near

Daily Spirit & Word, 489: Jesus Presence For Your Despair.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 4. Jesus Presence For Your Despair.

John 20:10-14 (NIV)
10  Then the disciples went back to their homes, 11  but Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12  and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. 13  They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?” “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14  At this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realise that it was Jesus.

Good morning my friends, we live in a world of deep despair. People are going through stuff every day and many are so troubled they give up any hope of ever being free from these desperate feelings. The reasons for our despair are many; for some it’s the daily struggle to make ends meet and provide for the family. For others it’s unhappiness at work or the fear of loosing one’s livelihood. For others it’s the break-up of significant relationships with loved ones and close friends.  Like Mary Magdalene mentioned above you may have also lost a love one. It might be that there’s nothing in your life right now to cause you to despair, but you are feeling as if something is missing, there’s an inner emptiness and restlessness.

The impression we get from reading John 20:10-14 above is that Mary is in deep despair, standing outside the tomb of Jesus weeping, she is so upset, heartbroken and grieving, that in her despair she fails to see or notice that God is showing her something to encourage her. Even the presence of Angelic Beings from Heaven should have indicated to Mary that God had something to do with the disappearance of Jesus’ body. It’s like that for many people in desperate times; no matter how hard you try to encourage them, because they are hurting, their soul focus is upon the hurt.

Try telling a man with toothache that the daffodils or forget-me-nots look lovely and the sunrise was awesome; he’ll not even want to entertain the idea of beauty until he gets relief from the pain in his teeth.

It’s the exact same for those who are suffering emotional pain and torment, sometimes even though there’s lots to be encouraged by, they cannot see it because something else has their complete attention, they are absorbed in their grief. This is hard for those trying to help them, because we cannot see their pain.

My friends, if Angels couldn’t help Mary, then don’t think you are going to be able to lift someone out of deep depression either. It takes a supernatural effort to life them for the deepest pits of despair. Jesus was standing right behind Mary, but she didn’t realise. Many people who’re going through tough times don’t realise that Jesus is right there with them. He’s loving them, because that’s part of His DIVINE NATURE. God is LOVE. Even when she turned around and saw Jesus, her grief was so intense that she didn’t recognise Him. She was still looking for Jesus dead body and even asked Jesus where the his body was. Oh my friends, when we’re desperate, sometimes even though it’s right in front of our face, we don’t perceive that Jesus is with us, that He’s trying to show us something to encourage us and build us up again.

Mary Magdalene really loved Jesus and that’s why she was grieving, her grief had blinded her to the reality of Jesus being right in front of her nose. For everyone who’s in despair today, Jesus is with you by His Holy Spirit. No matter what the cause of your despair is, know that he’s consistent and faithful to His Holy Promises. “He’ll NEVER leave you or forsake you”, “He’s with you and in you”, Jesus said, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age”.

Listen afresh to the Divine promises of God in Isaiah 43:1-3.

Isaiah 43:1-3 (NIV)
1  But now, this is what the LORD says— he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. 2  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. 3  For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour; I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush and Seba in your stead.

For all of us, no matter what our emotional state at this moment in time, the above passage is medicine for our soul. God want you to know my friends just how much He loves you. His is an everlasting love. We all experience love from people and have been let down when they didn’t love us like we expected, right? Well my friends, God’s NOT like that, He’ll never let you down and when you pass through the troubled waters of grief His Holy Promise is “I WILL BE WITH YOU”.

Mary Magdalene didn’t see it until the Lord Jesus called her name, look at the Isaiah passage above, “I have summoned you by name”. When God called you into a relationship with Jesus, He called you by name, you are His, He chose you, He’s calling your name again this morning and He wants to be with you and heal you and help you.

Points to Ponder

  • Are you in deep despair? Do you believe that God’s love can overcome any pain or hopelessness you are facing? Is there someone you could ask to come and pray with you?
  • Have you noticed any patterns in your life where similar circumstances consistently cause you to feel down or depressed? How can you increase your awareness of the presence of Jesus? I’d suggest some of these things, they work for me every time: Prayer, Praise, Worship, Bible Reading and Study, Fellowship with fellow saints regularly, Fasting, Getting alone with the Lord and talking through my problems with Him.
  • Finally, do you know anyone who is currently in despair? Take some time to pray for them and ask the Lord if He wants you to be His hands and feet to be with them and to show them that Jesus really cares.

Prayers For Day 4 of 40 Days With Jesus.

Dear Lord Jesus, I want to reaffirm my commitment to You. I choose to put my trust in You today despite what I am facing or how I am feeling. You know every broken place in my life. You are immediately aware of my hurts and you keep track of all my sorrows. (Psalm 56:8). Lord Jesus, because you became a human being just like me, fully human in every way (Hebrews 2:17), I know that You identify with what I’m going through. Open my eyes Lord to recognise You in the midst of my brokenness, I’m trusting and believing today that if I seek You with all my heart, I will find You (Jeremiah 29:13). Now, I thank You that You are looking for me too. With Your tender love, so come and lead me from despair into hope, from anxiety into peace and from brokenness into wholeness. Amen. 

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40 Days With Jesus: Day 4: Jesus Presence for Your Despair.