What a value!
Last year, a colleague related an interesting story. Evidently, his daughter
needed some new Christmas plates. Those of us who are men should be very
grateful that God created women to live our lives with us. Otherwise, we would
use the same plates all year—even at holiday times.
Now, you can even decorate with a larger plate to go
underneath the regular plate. The larger plate (called a charger) is available
in a multitude of colors, one for each season and/or holiday. And of course,
they can’t go in the dishwasher because they are too delicate and must be
washed by hand. But, I digress.
His daughter found wonderful Christmas plates at Wal-Mart.
There was a different Christmas word on each plate. “Peace” on one. “Hope” on
another. And of course “Joy.” Even as I typed this story, I realized that my
wife would read it, and there was a really good chance we would end up with
some of these same plates. Especially because when my friend’s daughter got to
the checkout, they were on sale. She
watched as the register screen read, “’Hope’… $2.99, ‘Joy’… $2.99, ‘Peace’. . .
$2.99.” They were discounted. Money saved.
What if Wal-Mart really could sell hope, joy and peace for $
2.99? Would folks line up hours
before the store opened with lines that stretched all around the building?
Would they? But has not God already offered hope, peace and joy to mankind? In
Romans 15:13 the apostle Paul wrote, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace
as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the
Holy Spirit” (NIV, emphasis added).
God, at exactly the right time, sent forth His Son, Jesus,
so that He might redeem us and we might receive adoption as sons. Jesus—God in
the flesh. He was born, and lived, and even while we were still sinners, died
for us. Why? To make the Kingdom of God available to all who make the decision
to accept Him. Paul continues with the “kingdom of God is … righteousness and peace
and joy” (Romans 14:17, emphasis added).
Jesus declared that He came so that we might have life, and not just life—abundant life (see John 10:10). Life filled with hope, peace
and joy. But providing this life to us cost Him His own life.
Yes, it is probably true that if Wal-Mart could sell these
gifts for $2.99 each, the masses would flock to buy them. And yet, God already provided them
through His Son. This is how God
loved the world—He gave His only Son to pay the price for us so that we might
have this Hope…Peace…Joy.
The price was costly. It was His shed blood for you and for
me. He paid it so that we might experience eternal salvation and abundant
hope, joy and peace filled lives. And this
is not just when we get to heaven, but even right now! We can experience this now in this life that we live
here on this earth.
During this Christmas season, as you reflect on His birth,
remember why He was born. Read over the Christmas story. Enjoy it. Meditate on
it. Remember that He was born of a virgin, at exactly the right time, so that
He could later die. And it was only because He rose again, that His death has
any meaning or power. Here’s the power to fill your life with hope…and peace…and
Sure life is tough. The evil one came to steal from us. He
came to steal our hope, our peace, our joy—and even our very lives. Simply
refuse to let him. Resist him—he will flee from you. Take time to soak in God’s
Word. Spend time with your Father. Thank Him for His gift. Your heart, mind and
soul will be filled with hope…with peace…and with joy. I promise.
PRAYER POWER FOR THE WEEK OF 12/12/2011
This week take time away from the busyness of the season to
focus on Christ and what He’s done for you. Meditate on the miraculous timing
and circumstances of His birth and reflect on the wonder of it all. Ask God to
fill and empower you with His Spirit so that you can impact the world around
you. Remember the poor and needy and look for opportunities to share God’s love
in tangible ways. Continue to pray for worldwide revival and lift up Israel and
the persecuted church. Thank God for His continued protection over our land and
loved ones. Remember those serving in the military and away from their loved
ones. Gal. 4:4; Rom 14:17
To enrich your prayer
life and learn how to strategically pray with power by using appropriate
scriptures, we recommend the following sources by Apostle John Eckhardt: Prayers that Rout Demons, Prayers that Bring Healing, Prayers that Release Heaven on Earth and Prayers that Break
Curses. To order any or all of these click here.