HOW CAN I HAVE A TRULY MERRY CHRISTMAS?
Christmas time is a wonderful time of the year. It is a time when the thoughts of the world can be turned to the incarnation of Christ. Sad to say that far too often it becomes a time of stress, sadness and heartache. I’m told that there are more suicides during the Christmas season than any other time of the year. It is a time of loneliness for many. It is a time of grieving the loss of loved ones that we celebrated Christmas with on many previous occasions. It is a time where the real Spirit of Christmas is forgotten and many turn to alcoholic spirits instead. There is more to Christmas than Santa, snowmen, getting gifts, and bright lights.
I will give you a three simple thoughts. With a little thinking I am sure you could come up with many more reasons to be positive and joyful. While reading the Biblical accounts of the Christmas story from from the gospels and references to his coming from other places in Scripture be looking for motivation. For example, read Luke chapter 2 and see how many challenges you can find to rejoice, share, be thankful, etc.
1. LIKE THE ANGLES BE EXCITED ABOUT ANNOUNCING HIS COMING
The world needs to know that God has sent His only begotten son to pay our sin debt. That is reason for great peace and joy. We have the opportunity to tell those we come in contact with the real reason we celebrate Christmas. Many are extremely sad at Christmas time because of the loss of loved ones. They remember former days when they spent this time of year with those loved ones. You and I can remind them that because God gave His Son we can have the hope of seeing our loved ones again.
2. LIKE JOSEPH BELIEVE GOD (take Him at His Word)
It is not difficult to understand why when Joseph first heard Mary was expecting that he determined to put her away. He could have made her a public example but was thinking of doing it privately. Joseph was a man of character. He would be a good character study for young men and boys today. He provided for and protected his family. He took God at His word. He actively participated in his faith. His profession was one that demanded hard work. He was a just man that obeyed the Lord.
When Joseph was visited by the angel of the Lord. He immediately obeyed believing the explanation given. He proved by his actions that he not only believed in God. He actually believed God. Today I am afraid that we have too many professing Christians that give God lip service but not life service.
Christmas is a great time to check your faith. Are you increasing in faith, or are you living a fearful or cynical life? Spend some time in the Bible. Go to church every time there is a service. Expect God to give you something from His Word. When He does (and He will) believe Him, Take action based on what God speaks to your heart about. There is great fulfillment and satisfaction in knowing and doing the will of God.
3. LIKE THE WISE MEN GIVE HIM GIFTS
The gifts themselves would be a wonderful story, but I want to emphasize the giving. God the greatest giver set the example by giving the greatest gift, Jesus. Jesus willingly gave Himself for us. Eternal life, the Holy Spirit, and grace to mention just a few of the many things that are all wrapped up in the package of Salvation are made available to us by our great loving Heavenly Father. The wise men realizing that Jesus Christ was more than just another baby are examples to us of giving.
They gave their time, there energies and their resources to Jesus. Would it not make this Christmas a more joyful and merry Christmas if we would give ourselves more completely to Him. We could start by giving our time. Being faithful to church services and having times alone with God as well as family time with God would be great places to start. Then move on to giving him of your energies in prayer and service. Surely there is some need in your church that you could meet. There are folks in your circle of influence or that live on your street that could use some service in Jesus name (up to and including giving the Gospel message). Then what about your resources. I am dumbfounded to explain why people don’t honor God with the tithe (10% of your gross income). It is amazing to me why everyone that is saved would not tithe and then give as generously as possible offerings above the tithe to reach the world of people that Jesus died for.
Think of some unique ways you can “Make Much Of Jesus” during this Christmas season. I ran across some great Christmas tracts that I’m handing out to friends and strangers. As I do I say something like, “Can I give you this Christmas Card? It has some Bible verses in it that I know you will enjoy. If God then gives me an opening I attempt to lead them to Christ on the spot. A second thing Nancy and I did in trying to have an impact for Christ on our neighborhood that Christmas gives us opportunity to do was have a 12′ x 3′ banner made. We then placed it on the side of our house and put a spot light on it so that the people coming and going would make no mistake about our desire to tell them about the Saviour. I changed the masthead of this web site for Christmas and placed a copy of the banner there.
I pray that God will bless you and use you in a great way this Christmas season. Let’s lift up our Saviour and have a very Merry Christmas