What Was Jesus’ Purpose, and Thus, Our Purpose in Loving and Following Him?

A Prayer from Pastor Jim

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Father, what a joyous time of year this is. Yet, it is a season where we can easily put our lives first. We can be bent toward selfishness. As Jesus, the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Prince of Peace, the Lord of the universe has said, even more, has demonstrated, let us be the slave, the servant, giving our lives as a sacrifice, an investment in the lives of others.

As we consider the child who was born, the son who was given, remind us of the soon-to-be holes in his hands and feet, resulting from a life given as a ransom for us.

Then, awaken us to the reality that we will, in the not too distant future stand before the One with those scarred palms and wounded feet and have to answer for the use of all we have been blessed with. Resources provided to us, not to be stored up, hoarded, or accumulated. Rather, to understand, we have been transferred these gifts to look like Jesus, and relish in the privilege of self-denial, cross-carrying, Kingdom-investing for the benefit of others, because of our deep love for You.  

Should it cost us in the best of sleep or health or energy or comfort or convenience or resources or routine or time for ourselves, motivate us to be quick to say, β€œit may look like sacrifice, but it is nothing compared to what Jesus went through for me, for us.”

And, by getting out of the way of pride and thinking of ourselves, give us eyes to see how our obedient investments change others forever, as a child now in a safe home; a neighbor who is now a son or daughter of God; a restored relationship; or the poor and sick now being acknowledged and cared for.

And, if we regret our lack of Jesus-centeredness thus far, may we concur with one pastor who has said, β€œOccasionally weep deeply over the life you hoped would be. Grieve the losses. Then, wash your face. Trust God. And embrace the life you have.”

Begin anew in us this day. May Christmas 2016 be a fresh starting point.

In the name of the babe in the manger, in the name of Christ the Lord, the newborn King.

Amen.


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