Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. I am sure many of you are properly on vacation at home already. Yes, some may still work very hard to finish up your year-end responsibility. No matter where you are, our Lord is with you as always. Loretta and I will be leaving for Urbana (a Mission Conference) at St. Louise on 12/26. We will host a booth to introduce the work of GOI and hope to recruit some potential missionaries for the Kingdom of God. We covet your prayers for us and all those (about 20,000) who will attend the conference, that we will have good weather and readiness to respond to the mission call of God. Thus, you may not hear from me for the rest of this year. I pray that you will continue to stay tune with God in wherever you are.
"Your life is hid with Christ in God" (Colossians 3:3). The Spirit of God witnesses to the simple almighty security of the life hid with Christ in God and this is continually brought out in the Epistles. We talk as if it were the most precarious thing to live the sanctified life; it is the most secure thing, because it has Almighty God in and behind it. The most risky thing is to try and live without God. If we are born again it is the easiest thing to live in right relationship to God and the most difficult thing to go wrong, if only we will heed God's warnings and keep in the light.
When we think of being delivered from sin, of being filled with the Spirit, and of walking in the light, we picture the peak of a great mountain, very high and wonderful, and we say - "Oh, but I could never live up there!" But when we do get there by God's grace, we find it is not a mountain peak, but a plateau where there is ample room to live and to grow. "You have enlarged my steps under me."
When you really see Jesus, I challenge you to doubt Him. When He says - "Let not your heart be troubled," if you see Him I challenge you to trouble your mind, it is a moral impossibility to doubt when He is there. Every time you get into personal contact with Jesus, His words are real. "My peace I give unto you," it is a peace all over from the crown of the head to the sole of the feet, an irrepressible confidence. "Your life is hid with Christ in God" and the serene peace of Jesus Christ is imparted to you.
Silent night, holy night…when Christ is born into your heart today, you can enjoy that serene peace that the world cannot give and cannot take it away from you. God’s presence indeed is our source of peace. If your peace is at the mercy of the world or of others, it is the shakiest thing; you can easily lose your peace if the world and others decide to take it away. Only God is absolutely faithful and dependable. In Him we find peace. Emmanuel is His name – the one who was born into human history, so that through and in Him we find peace. Emmanuel is God with us. Emmanuel is the greatest miracle in human history. Emmanuel is the reason why the whole world celebrates Christmas. Emmanuel is the greatest gift that man can ever have from above. Let’s not forget why Christmas is such a joyous occasion because God became man in a most humble and vulnerable form – a baby in a smelly and dirty manger. God did it in order to proclaim to us that He did not come to judge but in peace. It is all up to us whether we want to accept or reject Him.
Have a very merry Christmas to celebrate the gift of Emmanuel with your family and loved ones. Loretta and I wish you a blessed and happy New Year too.
Love you because of Emmanuel,