Weekly Reflections: God with us

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2 Timothy 4:1,2:

“In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.”

The scripture above is where Paul gives instructions to young Timothy. The purpose is to get him to be prepared to spread and teach the gospel at all times and to encourage him in the toughest times. He was teaching Timothy about the last days and the struggles he would have due to the attitudes he would have to endure with those he encountered.

The Christmas season, Emmanuel-God with us! As we celebrated the birth of Jesus, I have encountered many people throughout our community.

How pleasant it was to be greeted with kindness, gentleness and with love. Everyone seemed to be in great spirits even through this pandemic. The holiday spirits were surely ringing!

Oh, I wish that everyone could stay in that euphoric calm. Most noteworthy were the two times that I went through the drive through to get coffee, and both times the person in front of me paid my bill. I was excited, yet I found it unbelievable; not once, but twice!

I must admit, that I surely paid it forward on tips while going out for dinner during the holidays. It was fun to see their faces light up to receive the gift. Wouldn’t it be great if we could always stay in these joyful moments?

Timothy was warned that in the end times, people will not listen to sound advisement. In fact, they wouldn’t put up with it and would only listen to what “itching ears” would want to hear; they would turn away from the truth.

The Bible tells us in Matthew 24 that, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold.”

What a tough passage to read. But he does say, “the one who stands firm to the end will be saved, and this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”

The one who stands firm in their faith, the one who perseveres and keeps watch, and truly believes that Jesus will return will be victorious. We cannot lose the joy of the birth of Christ when the decorations get packed up until next Christmas.

Christmas is a celebration throughout the year. We will celebrate Easter in a few short months, and acknowledge the death and resurrection of Jesus; another reminder of our victorious Savior.

What keeps us in the joyful mood throughout the year? Knowing the promises that Jesus has made to his children; that he would not leave us.

He has sent the Holy Spirit to live within us to provide us with the ability to go on day to day. The Holy Spirit is there to teach, remind, convict, and guide you through your daily lives. (John 14,15,16) He is with us wherever we go!

My encouragement to you today is to continue the Christmas spirit every day. Show love and support to all the people you meet — “with great patience and careful instruction” — and make this world a better place one person at a time, and one day at a time.

Emanuel, God with us! Let that spirit ring and give God glory.

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