Joyful people see with open eyes the hard reality of human existence and at the same time are not imprisoned by it.” – Henri Nouwen
Radiating hope ✨ and Shining God’s love in a weary, not-so-perfect world is what the manger message is all about, friends.
God’s love for us does not change like the shifting shadows of darkness. In fact, James 1:17 tells us each-and-every good and perfect gift in this world comes from our Heavenly Father, The Father of Light. And it is through the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ, “God rescued us from the domain of darkness” and transformed us into builders of His Kingdom.
“The One who is the true Light arrived to SHINE on everyone coming into the world.” – John 1:9
If God loved us to the extent of giving His only Son as an offering to an often rebellious, unlovable world, ought we to love one another with the same kind of self-emptying love?
As believers, we are called to be pure and without fault and to do everything without grumbling or complaining. So that in a “warped and crooked generation” as such as we live that we “shine like stars in the sky.”
“In the world you will have troubles, but rejoice, I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33
Through our loving words and deeds in the messy midst of our shared human struggle and suffering, joy-filled believers, point a weary, watching world to a loving Savior, The Prince of Peace. JOY is clinging to the Savior’s hand in the midst of life’s hardest, messiest circumstances and choosing to Shine His love.
“Not only to be so full of God’s love [I no longer fathom to speak unkind words or commit unkind deeds], but to shine bright for all the world to see.” This is my life-altering, life-long quest, friends! And all of us–very soon, we’ll be called once again to shine the light of God’s love ✨ in a fallen, imperfect world full of messy, broken people. Will you choose to engage a world bent against you with a conspiracy to love in the next year?
It’s not easy, friends, loving others in a not-so-perfect world. But in the end, the journey towards Christlikeness is totally worth it! Stay tuned in the new year for your invitation to join me as I embark on my tenth anniversary year of choosing to Accept The Love Challenge one challenging circumstance at a time. [Tap link for more info or to get a head start.]
How can you radiate hope ✨ and shine love on a world desperate for a loving Savior this Christmas? As always, I’d love to hear. 💕
* My sweet mama loved Christmastime with every fiber of her being. She lived fifty-one weeks out of the year in anticipation of this one week of familial bliss. As a way of remembering and honoring her in death, funeral attendees wrote a word which they felt best described her and then hung it on this little golden Christmas tree. And now, each year this “joyful” tag especially brings me great comfort–and joy!