We live in an extremely busy world. Most of us juggle multiple priorities, manage numerous relationships at various levels of commitment and have to make time to relax. We are always on the go. We are always communicating. We are always being called upon to work, serve, speak, go, etc.
As we enter December each year these activities normally go into overdrive. Our professional lives go into overdrive at the same time that our personal and church lives do. There are parties, dinners, events at school, church, etc that all require our attention and attendance while maintaining the normal things in our lives. There are gifts that must be purchased, wrapped and shipped. There are cards that need to be signed, addressed and mailed. There are dinner menus to choose, travel arrangements to be made and all of the other festivities that we have prepare and celebrate.
Christmas can be the “most wonderful time of the year” or it can be the most stressful time of the year. From my experience you normally get a little of both each Christmas. It is very easy each year to marginalize the reason for our celebration; Jesus. We can end up working so hard to celebrate the day that we do not communicate with Him. Each of us will have the opportunity to draw closer to God during the Christmas season and each of us will have the opportunity to replace our relationship with Jesus with our celebration of His birthday.
For the record, my Christmas tree is up, the house is decorated and we are working our way through the annual gift list. This message is not anti-Christmas nor is it my intention to dampen your Christmas cheer in anyway. In fact, my goal is the opposite. Christmas provides us an opportunity for great celebration and preaching the gospel to those that are lost.
I want to keep this message brief (I know how busy this season is). Here are the points I want you to take away from this and that I believe will help you to make this the most wonderful time of the year.
- Pray with greater intensity during this season. The miracle of salvation began on earth with the miracle of the incarnation. Take time to lift up your holiday schedule to the Lord and zero in on what you are truly celebrating.
- React with the fruit of the Spirit. Your buttons are going to be pushed at this time of the year. Make sure it is Jesus who reacts and not your flesh when they are.
- Bless someone who has no ability to repay you. If you can do it anonymously, even better. Great joy comes when we give.
- Invite someone to church whom you never have. People will come if you just invite them.
- Get along with your relatives; especially the unsaved ones. The love of God inside of you is greater than any issue they have.
- Don’t go into debt in order to purchase presents. The world wants us to focus on being a good consumer at this time of year. The Holy Spirit just wants us to be good Christians.
I pray that this Christmas season will be filled with love, joy and peace for you and your family. I pray that loved ones and friends will be born again and that you will fall deeper in love with the Lord Jesus Christ.