Fresh Hope – 22nd December 2016

My parents still live in the same house that I grew up in alongside my older brother and younger sister.

The house was, and of course still is, about a 20 minute walk from the town centre of Dudley.

In the run up to Christmas, when I was around 12, I spotted a remote control racing car in the window of my favourite toy shop in the town, and insisted and persisted that if I had but this one thing I’d never ever want anything else again. Sound familiar?

Well, once again my parents pulled it off, and there on Christmas morning was my bright red racing car waiting in the lounge where all presents had to be displayed. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on my dream gift and after opening everything else, I got to race my car.

I was surprised that it didn’t go faster or turn as sharply as I’d imagined, but then came the biggest let down of all…the four huge batteries that were in it, died within half an hour of use, putting a very abrupt end to my Christmas day dream.

Battery after battery was begged and borrowed from everything else we owned, but then a week later the car itself stopped working. The forward and reverse gears had shredded inside and put a further end to my Christmas holiday dream. A few days later, I walked with the huge box to the toy shop as soon as they reopened after Christmas and promptly was given a new one in return. I made that journey to my knowledge four times to get further replacements before giving up on it once and for all. My belief that this was the one thing that was going to change my life was now a distant memory. I was now looking ahead to the next thing that would satisfy my childhood longings.

Throughout our lives we each look to various things that we believe will satisfy the deepest longings of our hearts, only to find out as I did as a boy, that nothing satisfies more than for a brief moment.

Several years ago I was given a very expensive brand new car, a real one this time, straight from a dealership showroom, and once again that old belief system kicked in, telling me that this would be the only car that I would ever need to satisfy me, but of course, even though more than 40 years had passed since my toy car had been received, it was just the same lie – it could never quench my thirst for satisfaction.

More than ever today I realise that Jesus is the only one that can fulfil your life and meet the deepest longings of your soul. More than 35 years later, after giving my life to Christ, I can safely say that His presence has never diminished and His faithfulness has never wavered. Instead of Jesus ‘wearing off’, He just keeps coming on stronger as each new day that unfolds.

He is the only gift this Christmastime that can truly bring you lasting satisfaction.

Don’t believe the lie that this year’s Christmas present is going to change everything, or that next year’s holiday, new house or relationship is going to bring eternal satisfaction…it wont. Instead, look to the one who alone can bring peace, joy and fulfilment.

If you are not part of a great church┬áthat worships and preaches Jesus then may I take this opportunity of inviting you to our Christmas Eve service for all the family at Champions Church, Netherton – 7pm?

I’d love to personally meet you there.

Pastor Mark

A daily devotion for a better way of living.