The Other Side of Christmas: December 3

Past, Present, and Future  

December 3, 2019
by Tim and Pam Reffner  

1 Timothy 1:15–17 (NIV) 
Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen. 
"Me, volunteer at church? Really, do you know what’s in my past? I have blown it! God can never use me.” Have you ever said these things to yourself? Maybe right now, everything appears to be going wrong and there doesn’t seems to be an end to it. Maybe you’re weighed down and feel incapable of meeting all the demands you have each day. We allow this weight to build, leading us down a dark path towards self-destruction. We allow negative feelings and thoughts to take over. We allow guilt, hurt, and blame to eat away at us, changing us into someone we really don’t want to be. But we don’t have to live under that burden. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” God’s grace is sufficient for YOU! Yes, you! Romans 5:8 says “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” You see, no matter what we have done or been through, God can still use us. Sometimes it is hard to understand or comprehend or feel like we can be used by God. When we yield to God’s leading and direction in our lives, no matter where we have been or what we have done, God can and will still use us. As a result of our obedience to Him, others will believe and be saved. God is patiently waiting for you to come to Him. Won’t you accept His unconditional love and forgiveness and release your weight of burdens and allow God to empower and encourage you?
When the enemy reminds you of your past, stop, pray, and remind him of his future.

Father forgive me when I take my eyes and focus off You and allow myself to be absorbed into the world. Show me Your face Lord, so that I may see You and feel Your presence in all that I do. Humbly, I come to You, asking You to use me in such a way, to minister to those around me and encourage them to seek You. Father let them see You in me, whether it is through actions or words. May all that I do and say bring glory and honor to You, Father, amen.
About the author:
Tim and Pam Reffner
Tim and Pam Reffner have three children, Tim Jr (33), Heather (27) and Matthew (16). Tim is employed in the construction industry. Pam runs her own business from home. They help with the shopping card ministry, encouraging people to change how they spend their money to help the ministries of SCCC.