Through the eyes of a little child!

December 17, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For he who is least among you all–he is the greatest.”
(Luke 9:48 (NIV))

I have read this passage many times and tonight it hit me in a way that I had not thought of before. Perhaps it is the time of year with Christmas very close, but something made me look at this in a different light.

I know that many Christians have trouble with the idea of Santa Claus, but if you consider the roots of this “person,” you come away with a different perspective. Nicholas was a 4th century Christian who was known for helping children. He is also known for other things, but his love and help of children has gained him much notoriety. There are various different stories about Nicholas, but the one thing that stands out is how he used his love for Jesus to reach out to the little children.

Perhaps our understanding of Santa Claus could use a true historical perspective based on church history and not on what society has made him. Perhaps our understanding of many things could use a true historical perspective based on church history.

Could you imagine a Christmas not tied up in gifts and decorations, but in the grace and mercy that God gave us through the manger? Could you imagine a Christmas based on the greatest gift of all times instead of the “perfect gift” that will be obsolete in a short time?

Nicholas came to mind because of his ministry to children. Jesus told us that we are to be as little children. We need to look at His love without the sins of the world trying to cling to everything and distort the truth about the greatest gift that humanity could ever be given.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
(Romans 3:23 (NIV))

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
(John 3:16 (NIV))

Perhaps we need to look at the gift of Christmas through the eyes of a little child once again!

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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The image of God

August 16, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The Lord is righteous in everything he does; he is filled with kindness. The Lord is close to all who call on him, yes, to all who call on him sincerely. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cries for help and rescues them.
(Psalms 145:17-20 (NLT))

What is your image of God? Be honest.

Is it of a Santa Claus type figure who gives you what you want if you are good? Perhaps it is of a life guard type of figure – someone who rescues you when you get in trouble. Maybe you think of God as a kindly old man who is nice to everyone and allows anything because He is too timid to take a stand. Perhaps the one that I find so amusing is the idea that He is so busy that He doesn’t have time for us and that He doesn’t care what we do. Still another image of God that some people have is of a Grandfather Time type of figure who is more concerned with keeping things on schedule than with enjoying the Creation that is at His feet right now.

There are many images of God. Some are true, for all we have to do is look at the many names that God has – deliverer, provider, healer. I could go on and on, but, these images are images from His Word, not from someone’s false understanding.

The psalmist knew God’s character. He knew of God’s righteousness. He knew of God’s mercy, for he had called upon Him sincerely. God did hear his cries and He rescued him.

What is your image of God? Is it taken from God’s Word or is it a false image taken from your imagination and desires?

The true image that God portrays can do all things. What can your image of God do?

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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