Archive for December, 2012
Luke 2:10 – “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
The reason joy is such a huge part of the birth of Christ is because it is such a huge part of the life the Christ came to give us. And the joy of Christmas is nothing less than the joy of knowing and loving Christ.
1 Peter 1:8 – Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,
ILLUSTRATION – In the classic Christmas movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” we have the story of George Bailey. He managed a building and loan that was barely staying afloat. His life began to unravel and he lost all joy in living. He even found himself thinking that everyone would be better off if he had never been born. So his guardian angel Clarence is given the task of showing George Bailey what everyone’s life would be like if he hadn’t been born … to show him that he really did have a lot to live for. George learns his lesson, and the joy returns to his life.
“But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law” (Galatians 4:4).
“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16 NKJV).
No doubt you have attended a Christmas party this month in which everyone was encouraged to bring a “white elephant” gift. It’s sure to bring loads of laughter to the gathering as people try to outdo each other with the outrageously useless, prankish gifts. Tucked away in closets and cabinets in our home there are things that came to us years ago through the deviously thoughtful efforts of friends wanting to choose “just the right gift” for us.
Do you know where the “white elephant” gift idea came from? (more…)
We’re focusing this Christmas season on joy. The angel announced to the shepherds at the birth of Jesus, “I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people.” Over and over again in the Gospels account of the birth of Christ there are references to this joy … mega joy that is for everyone. The reason joy is such a huge part of the Christmas story is because it is such a huge part of the life the Messiah came to give us.
And if that joy is such a huge part of the life the Messiah came to bring us, why is it in such short supply in the lives of believers. We find ourselves whining and worrying … stressed and depressed much of the time.
And in the absence of that real, mega joy, we try to stuff our lives with the things and experiences of this world, hoping to find that joy that is missing. (more…)
The Christmas holiday season takes on a life of its own each year. The materialistic and commercialistic pressures are so great that we find ourselves looking forward to December being over. As believers we must not succumb to the powerful tide of holiday-related stress. Let’s seize the opportunity to proclaim the good news that Jesus has come to save us from our sins. Here are a few ways you can do that:
Keep your priorities straight. Christmas can cause us to spend money and time on things that are not worthy priorities. Sit down early in the season and remind yourself of your monetary, family and life goals. Stick with them. (more…)