Christmas Faith in Action
As a pastor, what does Christmas mean to me? Put simply, yet astoundedly, a Savior was born unto us and our lives have never been the same. I just get so overwhelmed with emotion this time of year thinking about this: Our Savior, Jesus Christ, the Lord’s only begotten son, was born and lived 33 years so that our sins would be forgiven. God’s love is so powerful! As this special day approaches, let’s contemplate the meaning of Christmas faith, or rather active faith — the idea that as Christians, we are called to take action in our faith today. Not in secret, not tomorrow, but today.
Every day is Christmas.
Christmas happens every day, and I’m not referring to sparkling lights and eggnog. I’m referring to the Biblical idea that Christ is always in us; that the incarnation, the infleshment of the Spirit of God is always happening every day in men, women, and children. The idea that God; the Living Word of God, becomes flesh and dwells among us, is something that happens all the time, and it happens in you when you take Jesus as your Lord and Savior.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” —John 3:16.
The story of Jesus, and the Word of the Gospel, are precious gifts of love that were placed on our hearts and in our mind. Why? It’s so that we can share this love with our neighbors and be the light of the world through Him, today. Every new beginning is stepping into the moment with forward faith. Christmas is happening wherever you are, and it happens because of your faith. Your faith is not what you claim to be. Your faith is your actions. It’s your actions in motion based on what you believe. In James 1:22-25 it states: “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.” So I want to encourage you, my friend, to begin to stretch what God can do in your life and do today what you thought you couldn’t do yesterday.
Forward faith is a force.
This leads me to think about my grandpa, Dr. Robert H. Schuller. He truly gave me the gift of positivity and taught me to have faith in all things. He said faith is a force, not a farce. By force, he meant that faith in action is the best kind of faith. God wants you to be a believer, and He wants to use you to be a light to those who don’t believe. In Biblical times, they had these oil lamps which needed the oil from olives to remain lit. As Christians, we need to fill our proverbial lamps with the Word of the Gospel daily so that we can share God’s love with our neighbor. So, if you haven’t refilled your lamp with the Word, how can you be a light to the world? Something fantastic happens when we spend time in the Word. We just want to shout out from mountaintops and share its wondrous messages!
My friend, Jesus is the greatest gift ever given, but you have to choose to unwrap His love. If you’ve never received Him as your Savior and best friend, that’s the first step; but once you’ve become a part of His family, there is even more to be revealed. Every day, there are new mercies showered on you, but to realize their benefit, you must seek Him through worship, prayer, study, and quiet reflection. This is
the most powerful way of unwrapping the limitless trove of treasure that comprises your eternal inheritance. As you allow His presence and guiding light to fill your life, you will find new presents around every corner.
At this Christmas season, Hannah, myself, and our entire Hour of Power family send you warm holiday greetings! We’re so grateful for the gift you are to us, and we’re praying for all His best to be revealed in your life in the new year. Whatever you’re facing, hold fast to your friend Jesus, for He is the light of the world who resides in you!
God loves you and so do I,
Special Encouragement to Keep Going…
A long-time viewer of Hour of Power and an author, Linda Merritt earned a bachelor of arts degree in Bible and a minor in biblical languages. When she says that Pastor Bobby’s sermons are
“biblically sound,” you nod with an all-knowing smile, and you pay attention to what she has to say next. “I am excited to tell you how the Lord has carried me through some very difficult times. Starting
with the ministry of Robert H. Schuller, and perpetuated by Robert Anthony and now Bobby,” she said. “Through Hour of Power, I received a lot of spiritual nourishment and encouragement through the years. Many times, it seemed that they were speaking specifically to me when I needed it the most.”
Born into a small rural farming community and conservative Christian home, Linda can’t remember a time when she didn’t love Jesus. In her 30s, after some traumatic and life-changing experiences, she
drifted away from the Lord. “But God spoke to me through the Bible and I went back to college to earn my degree in Bible and became ordained.” Linda and her husband, Larry, who retired after sixty years
in the ordained ministry, are enjoying retired life in Florida and have a blended family of six children.
They are regular contributors to Hour of Power with an Eagle Partnership, and are excited to have a
commemorative stone in the East Gate Legacy Walk on the Shepherd’s Grove campus.
When asked what being a supporter of Hour of Power means to her, Linda said, “First of all, it’s scriptural to bring the tithings to the storehouse, as stated in Malachi 3:10.” She continued, “It’s a fact of life that the church has financial needs. So if we, who benefit from it and are a part of it, don’t contribute, how can it possibly continue? I am so grateful that the Lord used, and continues to use, the Schullers to encourage and enrich our lives.”
Inspiring Words From Our Viewers…
“We love your Sunday morning preaching, Bobby! Thank you for your humble, transparent, kind delivery of consistent
powerful messages that God uses in our lives. The Holy Spirit conveys through you timely messages for us each week –
even through your occasional special speakers. Thank you!!!”
—Anita, Rosedale, British Columbia
“Thank you! Sometimes it seems your sermon was written for me, still so many need to hear the same message. We seem
to be forgetting the basics. Thank you for sharing your family and for the singing children today. I hope to help with the
community garden today.”
“Hi Pastor Schuller, I just want to write a note of encouragement and thank you for what you do. Your humility comes
across and shines, your dedication and love for God comes across in your sermons and teaching. You are so dedicated, humble and sensitive, don’t lose that quality in yourself, be strong in face of criticism, don’t be so hard on yourself, be who God designed you to be, YOU are God’s masterpiece, remember that, the Lord is so proud of you and loves you and your family so much! Thank you for sharing your light to the world, you matter so much! I hope this encourages you today.
God bless you a hundredfold. I felt led by the Holy Spirit to share these words of encouragement to you today.”
Move Forward with Active Faith!
To help you along your walk of faith, we’re excited to introduce our brand new devotional, as well as our traditional end-of-the-year special offering…
A Legacy of Faith
Every step forward you take in your faith journey is a new beginning. Christmas is a special time of year, one that also acts as a reminder that the new year is fast approaching. We know this to be true, but we don’t always know what the calendar of our life holds. This is why it’s important to take action today when it comes to your estate plan and your ability to leave a legacy for your loved ones and future generations. As the saying goes, “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” The end of the year is a great time to assess your estate plan and what your goals are surrounding it.
Hour of Power has a special group of friends called Legacy Donors who are a part of what we call our Heritage Circle. These generous Christ-followers felt it was their calling to pass along a legacy of values and love by including our ministry in their Will or Estate Plan. By partnering with Hour of Power, they are committing to share in our vision of spreading the good news of Jesus Christ to every corner of the globe for years to come.
If you’d like to learn more about stewarding your resources for the glory of God or remembering Hour of Power in your Will or Estate Plan, call us at 714-971-4111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Hannah Schuller
“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him
Immanuel (which means “God with us”).” — Matthew 1:23
Do you believe God is with you? If you are human, there are probably times when you’ve doubted it. David had times he doubted it, “I am worn out calling for help; my throat is parched. My eyes fail, looking for my God.” — Psalm 69:3.
An actual angel of God appeared to Gideon and said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.” Gideon replied, “Pardon me, my lord, but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us?” and goes on to say, “But now the Lord has abandoned us.” — Judges 6:12-13.
Even Jesus cried out in Matthew 27:46, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”.
If you keep reading their stories, does God prove to be with David, Gideon, and Jesus? Absolutely. God does incredible wonders in their lives. Likewise, if you begin to doubt that God is with YOU, remember your story is not over yet. You received a promise from the Living God, “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.” — Hebrews 13:5.
How incredible that Jesus is Immanuel … GOD WITH US. What does it do for your soul to know God is with you even as you read these words? For me, it brings peace to know God will be with me in my darkest hour, and if I cling to Him, my future will be filled with His wonders.
I’ve had to cling to Him countless times in dark hours with my son’s health problems. Many years ago, when I got on my knees to pray over my son’s first seizure, God put a promise in my heart for him. Since then, his health has been a challenge, but I hold onto the promise. I know Cohen’s story isn’t over yet. I know GOD IS WITH US. There is no safer place to be than with Him.
In the storm of Cohen’s health problems, in the storm of the pandemic the past two and a half years, God has been showing me that my heart can be at peace because HE IS WITH US. We keep doing everything in our power to help our son and to be a source of goodness during this pandemic, but in the end, our peace comes from Immanuel.
I feel God drew you to read this article because He’s reminding you of a promise He’s made to you, “I AM WITH YOU, NEVER WILL I LEAVE YOU.” God has given you this promise. It’s true during challenging times; it’s true throughout the entirety of your life. Child of God, during this Christmas season, we can truly rejoice over Immanuel … GOD IS WITH US. Hallelujah!
God loves you and so do I!