This is what the Lord says- your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to my commands…(Isaiah 48:17-18a NIV)
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree- How lovely are thy branches. Singing this tune, my brain began changing words to…Even lovelier following God’s directions. I love everything about Christmas. Every effort made small or grand…is beautiful to me; trees, lights, shopping, and the sweetest is giving.
Acts 20:35 In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” The Lord knows we all times of weakness when help is needed. I’ve had two back surgeries, three babies…I’ll be eternally grateful for all help received. The first surgery was necessary while my middle child was 8.5 months old. Then to find out a month later I was six weeks pregnant. David and I reflect back to what a whirlwind this time was in our life. And the bright shining light from all the wonderful people who helped make our burden light.
As a child, I thought like a child, counting my Christmas presents sent from my aunts, my grandma, adding to my parents…I was excited. My mother always made Christmas very special. I want the same magical feeling, only made possible by the greatest gift of all- God giving His Son. Jesus, born a virgin birth, lived on earth without sin, though tempted often…transforms our lives in hope that we grasp the heart of Christ. The only way to see this transformation…for example, of being more excited to give…than receive is to pay attention to God’s commands. He teaches what is best for us, and directs in the way we should go. Studying God’s Word, we learn about giving/receiving- scripture teaches. Joy bubbles when able to help others.
As God spoke through Isaiah, He was unhappy with the Israelites’ disobedience. If only they had paid attention to God’s commands:
- “Peace would have been like a river.
- Righteousness like the waves of the sea.
- Descendants would have been like the sand.
- Children like its numberless grains.
- Their names would never be cut off nor destroyed from before me.”
I believe same is for us today. God teaches what is best for us. He directs the way we should go. Has anyone ever drawn you away from God/church? This is a good sign, not following path to God’s best or His directions. God would never want us to pull away from Him. Ever had friends/family to draw us closer to God’s teachings…these are ones we can trust. Always seek Jesus…He promises those who seek will find. Don’t let the devil deceive us from God’s best. Peace really is like a river, and God’s righteousness peaceful like gazing into the ocean, relaxing to the beat of the waves, rolling back and forth. A different story if doubting like the waves…being tossed back and forth is unsafe.
Christmas trees are so lovely…even more so, knowing and following God’s directions. Learning all Scripture, building Word knowledge in our minds and storing in our hearts. Not turning right or left…walking straight in God’s best for our lives.