Christmas Thoughts

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So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen Him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen which were just as they had been told (Luke 2:16-20, NIV).

Simple People

The shepherds were among the first to be made aware that the Savior had been born. What does this tell us? That God is reaching out to the most simple of people. He’s not interested in the education, background, or social status that we so often seem to think is of utmost importance. We don’t have to try to impress Him or be something we are not. They were not even looking for God, but God came to them! Christ Himself came as a baby in a manger, born as the son of a carpenter and made Himself known to “common ordinary” people.

This holiday season:
*Take some time and be aware of the poor and needy around you but also pay attention to the common, ordinary persons around you. We all need Jesus!

*Look into the face of a baby and realize that is how Jesus came to us. Say a prayer for the baby and ask that God would grant them wisdom and strength and ultimately that they would receive Jesus one day as Lord.

*Pay attention to animals around you and remember that Christ was born in a stable. Feed some birds or visit a zoo. Maybe there’s a “Live Nativity” near you that you can see?

*Pay for a carpenter ( or other serviceman) to have lunch in remembrance of Joseph, Jesus’s earthly father.

Spread The Word

The shepherds couldn’t keep the message to themselves. At Christmas, it’s a great opportunity for us to share the life-giving story of Jesus. Take advantage of the chance that you have this holiday season to share what you know about Jesus. Take time to let people in on the way that you see Jesus; the way you worship Him, the way that you love Him. You may be very surprised how open others are to hearing what you know about Jesus. Don’t be afraid to talk about Him, ’tis the season for “do not be afraid”.

Store Up

God is most assuredly going to do some amazing things in and around you this holiday season. Pay attention and store it up in your heart. You’ll need that later. Mary had no real idea all that would happen 33 years after this blessed day. She would have to hold tightly to the memories and stories surrounding Jesus because tough and dark days would come. But she knew without a doubt that this was God’s son. Questions, wonder,and awe were all part of the journey that had just begun for her. And the same is true for us. We are are a journey with our God that is filled with questions, wonder and awe; even doubt, misunderstanding, and heartache.

But oh the joy at the end! Jesus, for the joy set before Him endured the cross (Hebrews 12:2) that we may have eternal life. This is what Christmas is all about: Jesus coming to save us, willingly, joyfully, intentionally! If we will simply store up these things in our hearts, we will most certainly glorify God this Christmas.

Thanksgiving Preparation

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…give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

Do you find yourself being thankful this season? Have you taken time to truly THINK about Thanksgiving? To be truly thankful, we must be thoughtful. In life, busyness and distractions can easily prevent us from being thankful. Complaining and comparisons can also play a huge role for attitudes of ingratitude. But when we take the time to actually stop and consider all that we have (not that we could fully consider all we have because our minds can’t really comprehend it all), how blessed we are, regardless of our current situation, thankfulness has a chance to change our hearts.

Why not make some concerted effort to GIVE thanks over the next couple of days? Stop┬ácomplaining and comparing for a few moments and consider what you have instead of what you don’t have. Giving thanks only matters inasmuch as you understand what you have been given. It’s impossible to be a growing Christian if you are not a grateful Christian.