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Only One - A Devotion

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Luke 1:31-35 (NLT)
You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!” Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.” The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God.

How many kings step down from their thrones? How many lords have abandoned their homes? How many greats have become the least for me? And how many gods have poured out their hearts to romance a world that is torn all apart? How many father gave up sons for me? These are the lyrics of a Christmas song by Downhere. It has stopped me in my tracks today. I cannot get these lyrics out of my head erasing all the sugar plums dancing in my head. I must admit I am not a real fan of Christmas music. Stressed out on max overload preparing for Christmas while packing to leave for another chemotherapy appointment for our son and wondering how in the world this holiday is going to be bright when the sleigh will come sliding back home on Christmas eve. The weather in Florida is forecast to be nice and warm that is until I need it to be to get my son home comfortably as it is forecast to drop twenty degrees on that day. I want to bake cookies, watch the movie “Elf” and finish wrapping the odds and ends that I have left. Work is over for a couple of weeks so why is my mind still racing? Like always the Lord has a way of clearing a path through my overloaded thoughts and gently tapping on my heart, have you forgotten something? I do believe that I have. No matter what is stressing me out or causing anxiety in my heart or yours – there is only one thing really worth celebrating this year! His Name is Jesus and He is the Only One.

How many kings step down from their thrones?

Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is sits on the Throne with God and remains in complete control until every one of His Enemies is under His Feet. (Hebrews 10:12-14) I forget this so many times when I let the devil give me a run for my money so to speak. He continually drops “priorities” and “problems” that take the place of my faith and confident hope in God. If Jesus Christ is King which He is and I believe this to be true wholeheartedly. Then my first priority in all things is to give Him honor and praise. Fear, anxiety and stress are not products of His Confident Spirit (2 Timothy 1:7) who lives in me but represent a deficit in my own faith and ability to trust in the Authority and Power of Jesus Christ in my life. Make no mistake the baby in the manger was not weak and powerless. He was bringing all of His Power and Authority into this world in a way that mankind would surely accept. Who doesn’t love a helpless little baby? Well, the devil noticed His Arrival and tried to eliminate Him from the start. The Son of God came down from His Throne so that you and I could approach His Throne coming boldly in the Presence to find all that we need beginning with peace and joy in any situation. Jesus Christ came to overcome the world and the power of sin to send us to death and the grave. Now all that we must do is choose to live in the Presence of God, thanks to the grace and righteousness offered by the King who left His Kingdom to bring His Power to His People who were struggling here on earth. You have the Power and Authority of God to tell the enemy to get out of your face, banish him from your thoughts, and step boldly into God’s Presence.

How many lords have abandoned their homes?

John 21:7-8 (NLT)
Then the disciple Jesus loved said to Peter, “It’s the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his tunic (for he had stripped for work), jumped into the water, and headed to shore. The others stayed with the boat and pulled the loaded net to the shore, for they were only about a hundred yards from shore.

Why didn’t all the men jump out of the boat and swim to meet Jesus on the shore? When Simon Peter who denied the Lord three times immediately before His Death heard it, he went overboard without hesitation. He was not afraid to face the Lord but driven to be with Him. Jesus was His Lord. He had to be where He was. He recognized Jesus because He had a relationship with Him so that even if his human eyes could not make out the image of a man on the beach, His heart knew and responded. This is an overwhelming season. People suffer from great depression during the holidays. They are set up and afraid to be letdown. Those who feel unloved will fall deeper into desolation even if they are surrounded by people who love them. I have struggled with feeling down during the Christmas season. I have absolutely no reason to be but like a little dark rain cloud I can feel it overhead. Jesus Christ abandoned the comfort of His Kingdom to come into a world that hated Him knowing the people would kill Him and did it just for me. He left me with this promise. “He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you. No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you. Soon the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Since I live, you also will live.” (John 14:17-19) The world is not concerned with my comfort or even peace of mind – it is a place of taking moments of my life for nothing in return. But Jesus Christ did not leave me or forsake me, but now lives inside of me. The Lord abandoned His Home in Heaven with the Father to come knowing full well what would happen next and the gross negligence of people who would still choose death over life. He still came for me. Now He lives on the inside of me. I no longer have to feel unloved or abandoned because He is with me always. I need to stop looking for love and affirmation in this life and live in the Presence of God where I am fully accepted by His Grace, Mercy and Love.

How many greats have become the least for me?

John 13:12-17 (NLT)
After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, “Do you understand what I was doing? You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am. And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message. Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them.”

You will never satisfy a human heart with a tangible gift. Christmas is a great buildup. We expect perfect people to give perfect gifts to set perfect tables to make perfect food to create perfect moments. Every kiss does not begin with a jewelry store. Every gathering is not better if you shop at a certain grocery store. Things will go wrong…go with it. Do not let the details of this life interrupt your holy collaboration for the future. You are blessed with peace and joy from within so you do not have to put any expectation in this holiday or any other day in the world. Your hope is secure in Jesus Christ. We are to follow His Example. He became the least for me. He washed the disciple’s feet as an example to them. We are to serve others not expect to be served. It is that expectation in natural satisfaction that makes godly contentment elusive. God is not necessarily going to leave a bucket of cash on the doorstep Christmas morning or a stocking filled with gold. But I do know this, when I open my eyes on Christmas Day – Jesus will have left me new mercies and overflowing grace to get through the day! He does every day! I can serve the Lord by loving and caring for others because He lives in me. I have promises that are reserved for Heaven released by my ability to live in confident hope by faith that I can serve others as Jesus attends to me and my needs. “But they didn’t answer, because they had been arguing about which of them was the greatest. He sat down, called the twelve disciples over to him, and said, “Whoever wants to be first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else.” (Mark 9:34-35) By learning to serve others, I represent the one Greatest Servant of all time who became the very least for me!

And how many gods have poured out their hearts to romance a world torn all apart?

Deuteronomy 7:9 (NLT)
Understand, therefore, that the LORD your God is indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations and lavishes his unfailing love on those who love him and obey his commands.

Sometimes I think we miss the point that everything God does for us is because of His Unfailing Love. He opens doors AND shuts them because of His Great Love. He says, “Yes” AND “No” according to His Unconditional Love. He even gives us freedom to choose whether or not we will love Him. Loving God is our choice. We must decide to love Him. When we love someone, we will serve them. Think about it. You love your spouse, so you endure things that you would not tolerate in anyone else even to a detriment for some people. You love your children even if they do the unthinkable you would move heaven and earth to help them. What about your job that you devote endless hours to each week hoping for acceptance and affirmation in the form of a paycheck or even a raise? Why would God love you any less? He created you to be with Him forever. You are His Beloved. His Prized Possession. His Precious Children. He works tirelessly to expose you to His Love. “From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us.” (John 1:16-18) Even when presented with the perfect opportunity to choose between life and death or blessing and cursing mankind chose death. But God could not bear the thought of His Precious Ones dying so He gave us one more chance. His Name is Jesus Christ – His One and Only Son – if this is not proof of unfailing love then I don’t know what is!

How many fathers gave up their sons for me?

John 3:16-17 (NLT)
“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.”

My son has been battling cancer for two years now. We have fought the good fight of faith and I am unwilling to give up because I will not forfeit the life of that boy for anyone not even you! But God…in all of His Unfailing and Overwhelming Love did just that. God loved us so much that He gave His One and Only Son that we could have eternal life. He doesn’t want to judge you just bring you close enough to experience His Great and Awesome Love. Love drives out all fear…including anxiety and stress because you will be content, complete and lacking no good thing when you let the Lord lead your life. When you ask yourselves these questions, there is only one answer – Jesus is the only One!

Matthew 2:1-2 (NLT)
Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.”

The moment I heard this song, I repented for forgetting the only thing worth remembering this Christmas. He has done so much for me yet I so easily forget sometimes and allow the Lord to move down my list of priorities. A light went off that was probably the Bright and Morning Star via His Spirit living inside of me that reminded me that stress comes when I am closer to fear than faith. Anxiety comes when rebel and leave the refuge of peace found in His Presence. Disappointment and discouragement are direct results of wanting anything more than Jesus. Like everyone else, I struggle with the infiltration of the world and its image of a perfect life. Where is the newborn king? Jesus lives inside of you if you have asked to be your Savior and Lord. For those who have not, simply ask and He will come. May the Light go off in your life today like the star that rose to indicate Jesus has come! May you say with me that I have come to worship Jesus – the Only One!

Isaiah 9:6 (NLT)
For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

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