There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Romans 8:1 KJV

I sat down to write about the second gift of Christmas on the third day of December. I looked around and saw the stacks of boxes still sitting around my living room from decorating. I remembered the sink full of dirty dishes I needed to clean. Then I realized how tired I was from getting children to bed while my husband worked late. I wanted to give up. I did not think I was a good mother or wife, and I did not think I could fulfill God’s call on my life. If there is a mother out there who has not ever felt this way, please, come to Mothers of Preschoolers and share your secret with the rest of us.

I may not have the secret for keeping these feelings away, but I know the secret for dealing with those feelings when they come. The secret is found in Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” One definition of condemn is “to judge or pronounce to be unfit for use or service.”1 When we tell ourselves that we cannot serve God or fulfill our role as mothers and wives, we are condemning ourselves. That is not what God says about us.

If God did not give us condemnation, what did He give us? Well, the opposite of condemnation is commendation, which means “the act of commending; recommendation; praise.”2 God recommends us. He says that we can do it, and He will help. He says, “With God all things are possible.”

This is such an overwhelming time of year for mothers. We want our houses to look beautiful. We want our children to have the perfect Christmas. We want to help others so our children can learn that it is not just about having a perfect Christmas. There are ornaments to hang, cookies to bake, presents to wrap, and Christmas programs to attend. Let’s not let the busyness of Christmas overwhelm you to the point of giving up on whatever God has called you to do. He believes in you. Believe in yourself. That is what God spoke to my heart, and it is true for you, too.

Sources for Definitions
1 American Psychological Association (APA): condemn. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved December 04, 2013, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/condemn
Chicago Manual Style (CMS):
condemn. Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/condemn (accessed: December 04, 2013).
Modern Language Association (MLA):
"condemn." Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 04 Dec. 2013. <Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/condemn>.
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE):
Dictionary.com, "condemn," in Dictionary.com Unabridged. Source location: Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/condemn. Available: http://dictionary.reference.com. Accessed: December 04, 2013.
BibTeX Bibliography Style (BibTeX)@article {Dictionary.com2013,
    title = {Dictionary.com Unabridged},    month = {Dec},    day = {04},    year = {2013},
    url = {http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/condemn},}

2 American Psychological Association (APA): Commendation. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved December 04, 2013, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Commendation
Chicago Manual Style (CMS):
Commendation. Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Commendation (accessed: December 04, 2013).
Modern Language Association (MLA):
"Commendation." Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 04 Dec. 2013. <Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Commendation>.
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE):
Dictionary.com, "Commendation," in Dictionary.com Unabridged. Source location: Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Commendation. Available: http://dictionary.reference.com. Accessed: December 04, 2013.
BibTeX Bibliography Style (BibTeX)
@article {Dictionary.com2013,
    title = {Dictionary.com Unabridged},
    month = {Dec}, day = {04},year = {2013},
    url = {http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Commendation},}Get Word of the Day
 
 
“Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:39 KJV

At Christmas we always talk about Jesus being the Greatest Gift. That is absolutely true, but do you realize the gifts Jesus brought with Him? Have you thought about the gifts for those who are in Christ Jesus? There are so many that I would not try to quantify these gifts. All the books in all the world cannot contain the acts of Jesus.  I would not pretend to know all the gifts of Jesus, but through this Christmas season I will look at 25 of these gifts. I hope you will join me.

Let’s start with the foundational gift:  love. We would not have any of the other gifts if not for love. As we know from John 3:16, God sent Jesus, His son, because He loves the world. That means each of us. The commandments rely on love and the promises do, as well. All the promises come from God, who is love. Everything that comes from God comes out of love.

The best truth about God’s love is that it is unconditional. Nothing can stand between those who are in Christ Jesus and God’s love. None of us have perfect behavior. Some of us have made huge mistakes. God still loves us. Some people come from bad family backgrounds or live in rough places. God loves you. Some people feel all alone. God loves you. He will never leave you nor forsake you. His love knows no obstacles and is bound by nothing.

God loves us so much that He wants to give us good and perfect gifts, including eternal life in the perfection of Heaven, but unbelief can stand between us everything God has for us. That can be fixed.  Romans 10:9-10 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” As I said earlier, we have all messed up. We have all sinned, but that cannot even keep us from God’s love. When we believe in our heart that Jesus died to pay for our sins and confess with our mouth that He is Lord, all of our sins are wiped away and nothing can separate us from God’s love. Yes, trials still come. No, life will not always go as we planned, but we always have God’s love to comfort us and help us even in the hardest times.