A La Carte (December 22)

A La Carte (December 22)

The Lord be with you and bless you today. 

Westminster Books wants to help you get the new year off to a strong start, so have put devotionals on sale.

Today’s Kindle deals include the brand new and very important On Death and Dying: A Catechism for Christians.

This is an important article, and a sober warning, from Mark Jones. “Strategically, Satan can do a great deal of harm to the church when he can play a role in the fall of a pastor. Pastors therefore should understand they are the special objects of attack. But they should also remember the powerful presence of indwelling sin will mean they are never guiltless when they fall. The external causes may be Satan and another woman (not his wife), but the internal moving cause is their own sin.”

Vaneetha Rendall Risner wonders “whether heaven will bring added reward for those who persevere in suffering. … Will there be any compensation for those who respond to the loss and the emptiness by leaning into God for fulfillment? Will there be any prize for the sufferer who looks to God for the grace to endure the physical or emotional pain that screams through the night?”

“I am no empress, hovering over my kingdom of work as though the outcome of the next 24 hours is fully dependent upon me. Because it is not. Satan cackles at this silly mantra, licking his chops, because he knows that self-dependence paired with pleasing people will smother my walk with Christ, weaken my spirit, and leave me limping along in life.”

Here is a sweet reflection by Geoff Thomas. “The child born in the manger was not ‘everyman’. He was an individual who was an Israelite, a first century man who learned to speak Aramaic and was rooted in the traditions, customs, civil laws and religious laws of his people. Through the umbilical cord he was not only attached to his mother but to the life stream of all the fallen children of Adam. The link with men and women was forged in the womb of Mary and was established as irrefragable, that is, eternally impossible to break, alter or refute.”

And, on a similar note: “Did God plan this birth from before the world began, but forget to make reservations for Joseph and Mary at the hotel in Bethlehem? No, it was the purpose of God that from day one of Jesus’ life on earth he would be a suffering servant, a humble and helpless infant without a home.”

Jill remembers a peanut butter and jelly Christmas Eve. “Brave Mom. For sure she was physically and emotionally nearing empty. I can only imagine the heaviness of her heart and the weight on her mind at that point. That evening would have been the perfect time for manna to rain down from heaven! That didn’t happen…”

When I first began blogging…I was (sinfully) opposed to curating content and linking to other people’s material. Somehow Envy had shown up and convinced me that if I did that, I would diminish my own readership. 

The way of blessing is the way of Jesus. Live your life in Jesus, for Jesus, following Jesus. That’s the best, blessed, most delightful way to live.

—Kevin DeYoung

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