Trim up the tree with Christmas stuff
Like bingle balls, and whofoo fluff
Trim up the town with goowho gums and bizilbix and wums
Trim every blessed window and trim every blessed door
Hang up whoboohoo bricks
Then run out and get some more!
From Dr. Seuss’ “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas”
Did you know that there are between 3500 and 5500 promises to us in the Scripture? That’s a lot of bizilbix and wums, a lot of ornamentation, were we to decorate our souls with their divine craftsmanship and sparkle!
Some old, some new, none borrowed, all true! There are promises overlooked and under-appreciated everywhere in God’s Word. As for instance yesterday’s consideration, that we have a sure reward, and that reward is the Lord Himself. Look again at this verse from yesterday’s entry:
Behold, the LORD has proclaimed to the end of the earth, Say to the daughter of Zion, “Lo, your salvation comes; Behold His reward is with Him, and His recompense before Him.”
Now, being honest, that is not a promise I’ve ever pinned to my pillow or taped to my mirror or plastered on my refrigerator with a fancy magnet, but my goodness, why not? It isn’t that we fail to believe it, but we haven’t always affixed the stars on the tree and turned on the lights!
How many times might we read those words and give them not as much attention as the dust motes floating in the air, instead of hanging them on a prominent bough by a glittering thread. While we often take things too seriously or too literally in life, we seldom do so toward the things most true, the words spoken by the Lord, words He has included in Holy Writ.
I don’t want to shake this one off. I don’t want to say half-heartedly or unmindfully or even merely emotionally, “Well, that’s nice. That’s a beautiful metaphor … reward and recompense … lovely.” Reward! Recompense! I want them!
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it. Matthew 13:45, 46
Now we’re getting somewhere! There are riches we can own, and how can there be a purchase of the field where the Kingdom of God is the treasure, without faith in the promises of God? We want to say “Yes!” and “Amen!” to His promises, to each and all of them as they are given to us.
Then He said to them, “Therefore every scribe instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old.” Matthew 13:52
God has been promising, promising, promising, from the very beginning! That is how we know Him, of course, as it was meant from the beginning. We take Him at His word! Shall we not ornament our lives with all the promises that attend our faith?
Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God. The best invitation we ever received! We were also given absolutely terrific promises to pass on to you—your tickets to participation in the life of God after you turned your back on a world corrupted by lust. 2 Peter 1:3, 4 (The Message)
We need Him to be Who He is, and as He is, we need to know Him. What’s more, many too-good-to-be-true hopes have been realized by those who held on, who never let go. Other prayers were not answered as we supposed, but to hope in God after a terrible disappointment is thrilling and rewarding beyond measure, for He never fails. Our perspectives can sometimes be askew, but not His faithfulness.
Jesus told us that He would be looking for faith when He comes (Luke 18:8,) and if we keep our gaze fixed on Him, believing and living out the Father’s promises, our sights will be realigned so that we can continue to gaze steadfastly at His Beloved Son, Faithful and True. That alone is worth truckloads of gold and silver!
He is our portion; He must be, He is, and He shall be. Just one promise! Look at the power inherent in it!
My flesh and my heart may fail, But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:26
Tonight, lighting our first Advent candle on this second evening, let us say, “Father, You are my exceeding great reward, my gold, my silver, my wisdom, my strength, my hope, my redemption … my life! You are my portion, and the riches of this life are in You, truly, with every provision, nothing lacking, with abundance of joy and peace. Give me Your strong help as I make sure to decorate my life with faith in God, just as Jesus said to do. Amen.”
Theodore Geisel, Dr. Seuss,
with illustrations from his classic book,
“How the Grinch Stole Christmas” … public domain, no restrictions noted, Wikipedia