If you heard someone described as a powerful person, you might assume he or she would be the loudest person in the room, the one telling everyone else what to do. But powerful does not mean dominating. In fact, a controlling, dominating person is the very opposite of a powerful person. Powerful people do not try to control other people. They know it doesn’t work, and that it’s not their job. Their job is to control themselves.
A “successful” life has become a violent enterprise. We make war on our own bodies, pushing them beyond their limits; war on our children, because we cannot find enough time to be with them when they are hurt and afraid and need our company; war on our spirit, because we are too preoccupied to listen to the quiet voices that seek to nourish and refresh us; war on our communities, because we are fearfully protecting what we have, and do not feel safe enough to be kind and generous; war on the earth, because we cannot take the time to place our feet on the ground and allow it to feed us, to taste its blessings and give thanks.
How often do we realize a need, or a question, or a yearning and … yet we do not ask God?
Feeling despair? Ask God to open your eyes to see the good around you.
Feeling tired? Ask God on how to get more rest.
Feeling afraid? Ask God how to go to the root of the issue and deal with it.
Tension in the home? Ask God how to see things from His perspective.
Family member or friend with a hard heart? Ask God for how He would have you partner with Him in praying for this individual and speaking love to them.
Take with you the joy of Easter to the home, and make that home bright with more unselfish love, more hearty service; take it into your work, and do all in the name of the Lord Jesus; take it to your heart, and let that heart rise anew on Easter wings to a higher, a gladder, a fuller life; take it to the dear graveside and say there the two words “Jesus lives!” and find in them the secret of calm expectation, the hope of eternal reunion.
Following Jesus means that we are required to be completely there—all of us, not just our thoughts and our aspirations but also our muscles. Walking with Jesus means that great words like faith, hope, love, repentance, forgiveness, and grace are heard and experienced in the specific geographical conditions of our lives—these streets, office buildings, shopping malls, schools, and factories. Following Jesus doesn’t mean making a beeline for heaven the fastest way we can. There is earth to be lived in and on.
The most contagious thing you can bring home to your atmosphere is your attitude. Make sure you’re spreading something in your sphere of influence that Jesus does not have to heal.
We ought not begrudge anyone (ourselves included) the right to experience the pain, fear and sorrow that comes when someone they love suffers. We are made to carry each other’s burdens, which means to be burdened ourselves by the sufferings and sorrows of others. This is nothing short of an expression of love.
Just as teenagers can live in the same house as their parents, yet choose not to live “close” to them in partnership, so we can choose to be children of God, yet live very distant from God in our hearts. On the other hand, we can choose to have the closest partnership with Him, in which we know what He thinks, believes, and acts and what is important to Him. In this place of intimacy, we also discover just how close He wants to be with us.
During this Advent season as we celebrate the new relationship between God and his people, may that be mirrored in our renewed relationships with spouses, children, family and those near and dear to us. May we speak tenderly to each other amidst all the rush of the season and transform the shopping days till Christmas into the true Advent of Christ.