Escondido, CA

The Holidays – A Time For Hope, Not Despair. part 2

Becky and Rob Granger.

“You came to set the captive free.  You came to give us liberty.  My son and my rejection, Your blood and my acceptance, Now I’m alive to bring You praise…” (Freedom, copyright 2012, by Bethel Music).

This is what Jesus, the Son of God, the Gift of the Father, came to do – give us freedom!

If you’re like me, one of the things about the holiday season that I love most is that special feeling in the air.  I believe the presence of God is a bit nearer this time of year as a reminder that He is here; that He came to set the captive free.

It isn’t God’s desire that we live a hum-drum, meaningless, dead-end, depressed life, full of regret and sorrow.  This is the time of year to be reminded that the Savior came to live in our hearts, in fellowship with us forevermore.

Last Wednesday evening, at the Country Music Awards (CMA), country superstar, Carrie Underwood, sang a powerful rendition of “Jesus Is Calling” by Will Lamartine Thompson (1847-1909). While the song was sung in honor of the victims of the recent Las Vegas massacre, it was a passionate expression of the love of God for His people – especially when they’re hurting and broken.

Jesus’ life on this earth was lived, not as the Son of God, but as the Son of Man.  He emptied Himself of all deity; He came powerless, apart from the close relationship with His Father.  In the same way, the Father desires close relationship with us. Through His Grace, He has granted those who receive Christ Jesus the right to be a son or a daughter of God (see 1 John 3:1-2).

Those who are sons and daughters; “…Who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:17).  Reign over what? Over whatever challenge you face.  That is His plan for you – to be your Father, to be in unbroken relationship with you and for you to live in victory!

With that in mind, why not look forward to the holidays?  Perhaps you’ve experienced a devastating loss and you are reminded of it this time of year.  Sadly, you have been robbed of an expression of God’s love and peace to you – a time meant for you to reflect upon His goodness and be filled with a renewed sense of His joy.

Why not let Jesus be an example to you?  Though He suffered a criminal’s death, having done nothing wrong, the grave could not hold Him back! He broke out of the tomb and lives forever, having made Satan and all the power of hell subject to Him.  In relationship with Jesus, Satan’s power is now subject to you.

This holiday season, I encourage you to rise up! Decide this will be a new season of victory over whatever may hold you down; a new season of peace like you’ve never known, and may it inspire you to offer thanks to God on a deeper level for what He has done for you, through the Gift of Jesus Christ!

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Rob Granger and his wife, Becky, serve as Executive Pastors of Grace Church San Marcos under Senior Pastors Brian and Melissa Bauer. Located at 855 E. Barham Drive, San Marcos, Grace San Marcos meets at 10 a.m. Sundays and 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays with meetings for youth, children and other groups scheduled throughout the week. Visit for further information.

  The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Times-Advocate.

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