12 Days of Christmas Day 10

The 12 Days of Christmas Day 10
Ten Lords a Leaping

I am the Lord you God… You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything… You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal.
Exodus 20:2-17

On the tenth day of Christmas, my true Love gave to me ten Lord’s a-leaping. That image may be a bit difficult for us to relate to, but these leaping guys are Lords. They are important and have authority. And the whole picture takes us to ten commandments that are important for life and they have authority because they all come from God.

Before we say much about the Ten Commandments let’s think about this. It’s very difficult to behave as a believer or as a good person until we become a believer or a good person. Being precedes behaving.

Perhaps one of the greatest lessons we learn from the “10 Commandments” is that we cannot behave until we become. God gave Moses these Ten Commandments to give to the Hebrews (Israelites) who had come through the Red Sea. These are ten commandments that will make life work and work well. The problem, however, is that until God makes us a new person, these ten commandments are difficult to obey. One purpose of the Ten Commandments was to show us that we cannot do what God wants us to do until we become what God wants us to be.

The problem is sin. We keep disobeying. So, God made a way for us to deal with our bad behavior. Jesus came to live the life we are called to live, die for the life we’re not to live and rise us to give us the life God wants us to live by the presence & power of His Holy Spirit working in us and through us.

If we start with the Ten Commandments and leave it up to us we will fail. But if we will start with God and live it up in the Holy Spirit we will succeed. Finding the Ten Commandments (the law) tell us that we need God and fulfilling the Ten Commandments tells us that we have God. It’s a Holy Spirit life and once again it’s a learning process so don’t be deterred from what God can and will do in you.

What say you?

12 Days of Christmas Day 9

The 12 Days of Christmas Day 9
Nine Ladies Dancing

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control
Galatians 5:22-23

On the ninth day of Christmas, my True Love gave to me, nine ladies dancing. Something happens to a person, a believer, when they start living in this covenant relationship with God and living out this brand-new life that God gives us. There is fruit. There should be fruit. Jesus said that there would be fruit, “every healthy tree bears good fruit.” Matthew 7:17.

The presence of the Holy Spirit living with us and in us begins to produce fruit on us. That fruit resembles the features of Jesus and comes on us. Sure, it’s kind of spotty to start with. It takes a while for a tree to fully produce its fruit and it’s the same way with us. So, don’t be discouraged or deterred in this new life from God.

Here’s something to remember. God has created us to bear fruit, but there’s something to be said about the process. Sometimes the process is as important as the product. Those moments when we realize that we’re missing some fruit, it is a time to ask why. What is getting in the way of this Holy Spirit fruit? Where’s my joy, where’s my patience, why can’t I be kind? Those questions lead to pruning the tree so that the fruit on our lives is real, good and healthy.

The promises of God are true, and the power of God is real, but we can’t grab onto this new life while we’re holding on to the things of the old life. There is a new life, a new person, that the Holy Spirit is forming in us as we latch onto Him and let go of us. Where there is repentance there can be renewal, revival, and restoration.

The fruit of the Spirit makes life beautiful.

Sound, right?

12 Days of Christmas Day 8

The 12 Days of Christmas Day 8
Eight Maids a Milking

Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matthew 5:11-12

On the eighth day of Christmas, my True Love gave to me, eight maids a milking. Everyone knows that babies need milk to grow strong bodies. A strong person is someone who can discern what is evil and deicide on what is good. God describes His word as milk for the new baby or new person in the faith.

God has revealed His word through His Son and through His Scriptures to make us strong people. If we are going to have a strong life we’re going to need a strong light, one that shines bright, exposing the evil and expressing the good.

God’s word reveals to us what is good, right, and true so that we might live in His blessing and His beauty. In the verse for this day there are eight maids a milking and in Matthew 5 there are eight beatitudes for living in and living out God’s word. These are critical characteristics to the Christian life that must be learned, or we will be susceptible to evil.

And there are eight maids a milking, eight servants of the master’s house. Learning God’s word involves submitting to God’s servants so that we can learn and live in God’s good news. We all need someone or somewhere to learn God’s good news in an environment of love. To neglect God’s word and God’s work will mean that we will live lives that are anemic and ignorant of what is good.

What say you?

12 Days of Christmas Day 7

The 12 Days of Christmas Day 7
Seven Swans a Swimming
Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith Romans 12:6
On the seventh day of Christmas, my True Love gave to me, seven swans a swimming. Swans are beautiful birds, but that’s not how they started out in life. Those swans started out as ugly ducklings. They must grow up and mature into what God created them to be and so that they can do what God purposed them to do.

I hear people talk about God’s plan for their lives and some of those lives look dark and ugly, but they insist that this is the life God had planned for them. Have you ever thought that God had a person in mind more than a plan in mind? Sure, both are important, but God doesn’t have to take us down some ugly path to make us the person He wants us to be. In fact, God has given each of us the gifts of grace to become the person He dreamed we would be.

The lesson of the swans is that God is in the business of building beautiful people. God’s grace is available to each of us to become all He dreamed we could be. Do you know what ugly paths do to our lives? They create ugly passions, perspectives and patterns in the lives of those who take them. The truth is that God’s dream for you and me never ends and even when we take an unnecessary ugly path He meets us on that path with the promise of something beautiful over and over again.

If we insist on being ugly ducklings, we will pick up ugly habits that we have a difficult time letting go of because of pride and shame. However, the quicker we let go of those ugly hurts, habits, and hang-ups the quicker we begin to become the beautiful person God dreamed of in the first place. God has a person in mind and that person will find the plan He has in mind for the world that they live in. Let’s let God make us the beautiful person He has in mind for His beautiful purpose He has in mind. Can you see what I’m talking about?