Monday, December 17, 2012

Sweet Baby Jesus

Babies are precious. 

Women who have carried and given birth to a child—as well as men and children who witness this process—are amazed at this miracle of life. Christ is peacefully resting in my illustration below. He is the same as any other human baby in some ways, yet He is entirely different.
  • He is the Son of God who came miraculously through a virgin birth!
  • He is both God and man
  • He is the reason we celebrate Christmas
  • He is one part of the Holy Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit)
  • He performed miracles 
  • He loves us even though we are sinners
  • He lived a sinless life and gave it up for us, paying the penalty for our sins
  • By His suffering, death and resurrection, He blots out sins of repentant people
  • He “totally gets” the things in our lives
  • He understands our
    • pain
    • fears
    • grief
    • sorrow
    • difficulties 
    • broken hearts
    • misery
    • hopes
    • joys
    • celebrations
God the Holy Spirit comes to us when we absorb the water of baptism and the Word of God—we are given the free gift of faith. We mature and grow a deeper faith when we regularly hear the Word in church and study it at home. As people of faith, through what we learn in the Bible, we see:
  • our sin
  • our guilt
  • our mortality
  • our need for a Savior
  • our need to tell others, “I’m sorry.”
  • our need to repent sins to God
  • the fresh comfort we receive through forgiveness
  • the peace we receive by forgiving others
  • our need and desire to improve
  • our need to keep hearing and studying the Word to help us trust Him completely
  • the reason to pray, praise and give thanks
  • the love of Christ (unselfishness) 
  • the hope, forgiveness, comfort and strength He offers 
  • the only way to heaven 
Someday our life as we know it in this world will be over. What we truly want is a Savior, and while we wait for Him, we fill ourselves with His Word. We look forward to joining with Him and all believers in eternity, a place with no pain and no sorrow—heaven—where we will see Jesus face to face.

Thankful for the gift of faith, grace and life eternal, Christians want to share the Good News with others and encourage them.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11
Christmas Inspirations Postcard Number One ©Elizabeth B. Knaus
The Savior Has Come
Read more about these postcards for sale at the Christian Postcard Section in my Etsy Shop.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Broken promises and promises to trust

Nobody’s perfect.

People break promises. This fact is recorded in the Bible:
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Romans 3:23
It is extremely frustrating and heartbreaking when promises are broken and lies unfold. Yet, we can process these emotions with the comforting words of hope, My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.  2 Corinthians 12:9;  And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16 ESV

With this promise of God, we are assured that what we learn in the Bible comes from Him! Blessings are ours when we trust Him. Jesus is perfect; God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21

10 Promises from God

  1. For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 ESV
  2. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:29-31 ESV
  3. Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:28-29 NIV1984
  4. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. John 14:27 ESV
  5. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 ESV
  6. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:37-39 ESV
  7. If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9 ESV
  8. But whoever listens to Me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster. Proverbs 1:33 ESV
  9. And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 ESV
  10. His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which He has granted to us His precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. 2 Peter 1:3-4 ESV

The ultimate Christmas gift!

Immanuel means “God with us”. The virgin birth of Jesus is one of God’s greatest miracles and gifts to humanity. Christ is patient and calls those who doubt to repent. No one knows when, but He will appear again to separate those who reject Him and to dwell with those He has chosen (Matt. 24:36, 25:31–46). For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8
• Grant us a faith that perseveres until the end, O Lord. Move us by Your Spirit, that our good works continually glorify You and benefit our neighbors. Amen.
The Lutheran Study Bible, Concordia Publishing House, Saint Louis

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel. —Isaiah 7:14 KJV
Christmas Inspirations Postcard Number Two ©Elizabeth B. Knaus
The Savior Was Promised
Read more about these postcards for sale at the Christian Postcard Section in my Etsy Shop.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

How to be humble. 33 thoughts on the virtue of humility.

Humility means not being proud or arrogant, but being modest and courteously respectful. How attractive is an attitude of meekness and gentleness!

  1. Listen more than talk. Follow the words of the other, without being overly concerned about sharing your ideas.
  2. Ask people for their opinion.
  3. Be ready to give credit for another person’s idea, even if you are the one to carry it out.
  4. Count to five before adding to a conversation. Be sure that the other person has finished his thought, and reflect on what he said.
  5. Provide positive feedback.
  6. Say, “I’d be honored” when asked to help.
  7. Say, “It’s my pleasure” when thanked.
  8. Admit when you don’t understand or know something.
  9. When you screw up, say, “I was wrong.”
  10. Teach someone what you know.
  11. Cautiously use criticism, constructively and sparingly.
  12. Give God the glory for skills, talents, blessings and successes.
  13. Understand that timing is important.
  14. Prioritize your time.
  15. Think less about money for self, more about money for charity or for the building up of important things.
  16. Think of others first, before yourself.
  17. Pass on thanks to those who help you achieve something for which you were thanked.
  18. Be quiet about your goals.
  19. Be quiet about your achievements.
  20. Look for potential in others.
  21. Help others with their goals.
  22. Value other people’s time.
  23. Remember you have faults and are a sinner—you are no better than anyone else.
  24. Give others the benefit of the doubt.
  25. Pray for humility.
  26. Seek wisdom by choosing wise friends.
  27. Be willing to learn in all areas of education, especially about moral issues. Spiritual knowledge is found in church, Bible study and personal devotions.
  28. Keep calm and carry on.
  29. Be willing to accept new ideas and change.
  30. Graciously accept praise with a sincere and simple, “thank you” without expounding upon it.
  31. Don’t compare yourself to others.
  32. Stick with your convictions. Recognize differences in others, but don’t conform if it doesn’t respect your values.
  33. Forgive others who’ve wronged you without responding in revenge. Then move on.

These ideas are easier said than done, however, God is pleased when we try. The pleasure the Lord takes is not because of what we do, but because of the perfect life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ to earn our redemption. Teach us, oh Lord, to have a humble spirit.

For the Lord takes pleasure in his people; He adorns the humble with salvation.—Psalm 149:4 ESV
Teach us oh Lord. 
Christmas Inspirations Postcard Number Four ©Elizabeth B. Knaus

The Savior Redeems

Read more about these postcards for sale at the Christian Postcard Section in my Etsy Shop