As Christmas approached when I was growing up, I couldn't wait for the Sears Wish Book.
My sisters and I would actually fight over who got to look at it first. That's because it wasn't just looking, it was actually sitting with pen in hand and circling the things we wanted.
One of the games I wished for and received was "Kerplunk." Imagine my excitement as a child opening that gift. Our family played it a lot, until the sticks broke or got lost and the marbles slowly disappeared. Even as an adult, I still enjoy the game.
With Christmas fast approaching, the average North American will spend a lot of time creating a wish list to share with family and friends. But this morning, after reading some thoughts by James Bryan Smith on Ps. 23:4 and the preposition "with," I got an idea. Instead of creating a wish list this Christmas, maybe it would be better for me to create a "with" list. And maybe I should share this idea with others.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me. --Psalm 23:4
As believers, we often think of the Bible as our own personal Wish Book. But that's NOT why God gave us His Word. No, He gave it to us to create relationship. He wants us to get to know Him--He wants to be with us and us with Him. It started with Adam and Eve and culminated with the coming of His Son, Jesus. Immanuel--God with us!
All through the Bible, God gives us "with" promises not "wish" promises.
This morning I went to BibleGateway.com and typed in the keyword "with." Did you know that in the NIV Bible, there are over 5,000 uses of that word? Of course, not all of these verses are With Promises, but many of them are.
So, today I've taken the month of January for the 2023 calendar and I've filled in each day with a With Promise from God's Word starting in Genesis. I intend on doing this for myself throughout 2023. What do you think? Do you want to join me?
Here's the month of January to get you started. I've taken a photo of it but there's also a link you can download.
Each Scripture offers a With Promise. Each Scripture reveals more of God's character and His love for humanity. Each Scripture is for us, today. Why? Again, because God loves us so much, He desires relationship.
He wants to be WITH us!
This Christmas, take time to ponder anew one of the most precious names of God: