Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Scriptures of Encouragement ~ Gaining Christ at Christmas

I snuggled under the woven afghan - the one that reads, "The Lord Is My Peace". (Yes, seriously it says that and I love it.) The den was dark except for the Christmas lights on the tree and the glow of white lights under the snow of our Christmas village. A candle twinkled beside the manger scene, illuminating the reminder that God is now with us.

The house was quiet. I basked in the solitude and pondered the things of God. My eyes focused on the Christ Child lying in His manger as the flickering candle cast shadows that bobbed in and out of the soft glow in the room.

Jesus. Immanuel. God with us.

How can we fully comprehend this? Is it possible? I cry out often, "Lord, open the eyes of my heart to understand the gift of Your love," and He does - a little bit at a time. Perhaps to gain the full knowledge all at once would be more than we could handle. Perhaps it's in the journey that the understanding comes.

As I looked on the Christ Child lying there before me, I thought about the Apostle Paul. He said to the Church at Philippi, "Yet, indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ."

counted ALL the things he lost as rubbish because it meant he had gained Christ. Wow!

I'm beginning to understand this. Remember? Maybe it's in the journey that the understanding comes?

I'm learning that the world can take away my job. It can take away my insurance, my health, my home, but it can never take away my Jesus. He is mine and I am His and nothing can ever change that. And in that knowledge, I have everything I need. I have peace that money cannot buy, I have joy that makes no sense and resonates deep within, I am complete - there is no broken place that the Spirit of God cannot and has not infused with His glorious Presence. And in those moments I break down and weep, I have a God who comes near, holds me, and tenderly wipes away the tears.

Can I put a price on these gifts of love? Can I count their worth?

I love what Peter said:

"In this you greatly rejoice, 
though now for a little while, if need be, 
you have been grieved by various trials, 
that the genuineness of your faith, 
being much more precious than gold that perishes, 
though it is tested by fire 
may be found to praise, honor, and glory 
at the revelation of Jesus Christ." 
~ 1 Peter 1:6,7

The Message paints a powerful picture of this same verse: "Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it's your faith, not your gold that God will have on display as evidence of His victory."

Isn't that good?

I pulled the afghan up closer around my chin. My thoughts settled around me like my daddy's arms when I was a child.

"What can I bring You, sweet baby Jesus? I'll bring you my heart."

Photo Credit: www.smscs.com

If you received Morning Glory via email, please visit the Morning Glory  page to worship with Michael Card as he sings, "Immanuel, God Is With Us!" The imagery used will touch your spirit and give you strength for the journey.


  1. Hi Nan! I clicked on your name in comments on my blog, and it went to 'nanjones.com'
    Are you going to switch over to a .com?

    I love it when it's nighttime and the Christmas lights are on. Maybe a candle too. So peaceful. What a wonderful time to rest and meditate. There are a lot of bad things that happen to you and to me and I don't understand why. But I am learning the hard way that God wants my trust. Period. Man, that's hard.

    But I guess it's the only way I'll pay attention. These nuggets of truth are hard-won aren't they? Let's hang in there. And I love the present of your heart. Maybe I'll just steal that idea and do the same. It's the perfect gift.


    1. Ceil, you're so precious. These lessons ARE hard learned, but they count for eternity. AND, we're in good company. Throughout the Scriptures, the Lord's people learned the essence of who He is through their trials and adversities.

      About my website: when I first began this crazy writing journey (about 5 years ago professionally) I arranged everything around the term, Jubilant Light, so my website address was jubilantlight.com. I have since learned that, although that's a great name, no one can find me easily. I'm in the process of revamping my website and have already transferred the address to NanJones.com. I'll keep you posted :)

  2. I love this Nan, you've brought me to tears. <3

    1. Awww....bless your heart sweet friend. These lessons really are powerful, aren't they? God is faithful. Love you!