Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Putting the “ING” in Christmas

It's not only the season "to be jolly" but there are a few other things that we can do. Here's a few.

Tis the Season for…
Luke 2:4-7
He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. 5 He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who was now obviously pregnant. 6 And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. 7 She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.

Today I counted that over the Holiday Season I will attend 12 Christmas parties. Even as a Pastor it's easy to lose focus of what Christmas is all about. If were not careful it becomes more about parties and presents then about the birth of the Jesus, the Savior of the world. The Media has wagged a war to take Christ out of CHRISTmas and public school teachers can no longer say things like "Christmas Tree" but have to say "Tree of Illumination". We have to fight back and REMEMBER to keep Christ in the center of Christmas. After all, "He's the reason for the season!"

Colossians 3:15-16
And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. 16 Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.

This is a great time of year to appreciate how blessed we are. We all have a lot to be thankful for. Here's just a few things that I appreciate in my life: my salvation, my wife, my family, my friends, my job, my church, my health...I could go on all day. When we focus on what we DO have, what we don't have does not seem so important. This Christmas be aware of your blessings.

Acts 20:35
And I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

Matthew 20:28
For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.

The true meaning of Christmas is the GIFT that God gave us in his son Jesus. The most famous scripture in the bible says, "For God so loved the world that he GAVE his only son." When we remember what Christmas is all about and appreciate what we have the next step is to start giving it away to others. Albert Einstein said, “The value of a man resides in what he gives and not in what he is capable of receiving.” What a joy it is to be able to bless other this time of year.

Lamentations 3:40
Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the LORD.

With New Year's resolutions just around the corner it's always good to look back over the year and reflect on what's happened, what you've learned, how you've grown, etc. Then it's great to set goals for the New Year on things you want to do and new ways God wants to grow you.

Make the Holiday Season great by putting the "ING" in Christmas!

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